I’m baacccckkkkkkkk!

It’s…been too long.  Officially too long.  I feel awfully for disappearing for so long without so much as a word.  And with the Harry Potter challenge Sam and I had up for July (which was then extended to August, and then even longer due to unforeseen interruptions), I can’t believe I completely dropped off the line and disappeared.  Vanished.  Vamooshed.

My Excuse:  I hate using the word ‘excuse’ but then to say ‘reason’ or ‘rationale’ would be trying to smooth over my evident excuse.  Whatever word I use though, the answer remains the same.  I’m not self-centred enough to think that my disappearance meant a lot to the world, but to me, I felt awful for neglecting my blog, the one place I had committed myself to attend to daily, and at the least, weekly.  But life called and said, ‘if you don’t get moving, you’re going to fail’ and in the end, I disappeared.  My apologies first for disappearing. For those who might remember, I am/was currently undertaking my fourth year at Uni.  Fourth year is thesis year and all year I’ve been working on a thesis, which is now finished and submitted.  When I vanished, that was the moment when I had approximately 3 months left to gather data, sort it out and eventually write it up.  I’ll tell you, I feel like never doing such a thing again.  It was so intense and scary and you know, is it normal to feel so out of place when working on thesis?  The language is so…well in short, on an entirely different level.  By the end, I suppose I got a grasp (maybe an understatement, but then, I pride myself in understatements since it tends to go hand in hand with modesty, and I think I’m quite modest) of what it means to pursue a career in academics, and I feel that with time I will definitely look back and think and I thought it was hard! I know I definitely thought that when I first started uni.   However, now that this year is all over, I’m waiting anxiously for results, and also answers to what will happen next year.  I’m petrified to say the least.  But yes, my apologies to all my readers, fellow bloggers and followers for disappearing for so long.  I look forward to revisiting your blogs again!

But.  I have returned!

Updates:

 

hpchlngbanner

Remember the Challenge?  So even though I stopped posting about it on Day 7 & 8 I did in fact complete the whole challenge within the period of two months.  I would have finished it earlier if life did not spread its wings at the most inappropriate times.   However, I was not deterred, I held my wand up and told life to freeze for a moment, and eventually finished the series.  Re-reading the entire series was well, excellent.  I will probably do it again and again for the rest of my life.  As the one series I practically grew up with, I love it to death and back.  In re-reading the series from a new perspective, I’ll say, I saw things I didn’t see before.  It was also interesting to read the entire series in order, one after another.  I must say, even though I have all the books, I’ve never had the chance to read them one after another, because you know, each book comes out one year later,  and then for me, I would perhaps read the book before to catch up.  Other than that though, it’s straight on to the next instalment.  I cried again, you know (well, almost cried, I did feel my eyes go a little hot, and the burning sensation that signals tearage was present) when I read Snape’s ending.  That’s always one of my favourite highlights of the seventh book.  I also re-watched the movies, and had to really re-appreciate the beauty of the book.  There’s nothing that can quite beat the original, though the movies did a relatively good job, they still missed so many things.  Re-reading the whole series has also given me the chance to praise authors for being brilliant and thinking ahead (I know it sounds silly and very derpish, but even though I know authors think ahead and they foreshadow –as a writer, I do it myself– I just can never get over it when I really see it in action.  It’s a complete out of body experience, of a kind).

What You Missed and What I Was Thinking When I Read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Below are the statuses I made on Goodreads when I was reading.  Oh…I have discovered even though I usually like to reserve my thoughts about a book until the the end, I really have a thing for the status button, and cannot resist updating how much I’ve read constantly.  An obsession, I know.

Reading Progress

07/09 marked as: currently-reading
07/10 page 100 15.0% “Ahhh Ludo Bagmen.

It’s funny there are so many people who complain about the detail relating to the World Cup as being boring and unnecessary but there are so many subplots that begin here and are later on elaborated on (and of course, left out of the movie). Like with Ludo – that guy is such a significant factor in Weasley Twins subplot particularly when you think about it.”

07/10 page 100 15.0% “>>I ran out of space on the last update
And then Winky!!! I bet we all forgot her!!! But she’s so key to not only the plot here with Barty Crouch Jr, but with Hermione’s crusade for House Elf equality in the next book!”
07/12 page 300 47.0% “Hermione and SPEW!!!”
07/14 page 515 80.0% “Lols Harry guessing the password to Dumbledore’s Office

Harry: *list of random wizarding sweets* Cochroach Clusters

*Dumbledores Gargoyle spins letting Harry in*

Harry: no way, I was joking!!!

**Harry Potter July Reread Challenge ❤

07/14 page 537 84.0% ‘…’ Said Mrs Weasley brightly. ‘I must say, it makes a lovely change, not having to cook. How was your exam?’

‘Oh…OK,’ said Ron. ‘Couldn’t remember all the goblin rebels’ names, so I invented a few. It’s all right,’ he said, helping himself to a Cornish pasty, while Mrs Weasley looked stern, ‘they’re all called stuff like Bodro the Bearded and Urg the Unclean, it wasn’t hard.’

Lols, Ron XD”

07/15 page 583 91.0% “Gawd when people start dying…you know that’s when the series has gone dark.”

What You Missed and What I Was Thinking When I Read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I didn’t have much down for this book, but then the book was massive, so I’m not surprised!  And then because I was already overtime with the original challenge timeline, and running out free time to spare, I guess there was little to say.  Not to mention, the last three-four books were the ones I’ve reread the most out of all the books!

Reading Progress

07/15 marked as: currently-reading
07/16 page 100 13.0% “Fred and George <3”
07/17 page 223 29.0% “Lols love the scene when Harry gets sent to McGonagall by Umridge and she tells him to have a biscuit after she learns that Harry called Umbridge a liar, yelled at her and told her that Voldemort was back 😄 <3” 2 comments
07/17 page 250 32.0% “lols with all the teachers telling Harry and the others how importnat OWLs are, I am surprised to remember starting Yr 12 VCE and hating every first class – the teachers never stopped going on and on about it, and even worse, the year level coordinator tried to make it seem less stressful but really….she made it worse ^^””
07/21 page 600 78.0% “Omg Umbridge and McGonagall, love their interactions! ❤

**For the July HP reread challenge!”

07/21 marked as: read

 What You Missed and What I Was Thinking When I Read Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

I am sad to say I had no updates for this except that I was reading it, and that I’d finished it.  Strange…I thought I had updates, but guess not :/.

What You Missed and What I Was Thinking When I Read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Reading Progress

08/14 marked as: currently-reading
08/14 “Omgosh the final book of the July-August Harry Potter Re-read Challenge ! I’ve been dying to get to this book after retracing the steps of Harry’s journey.

Snape!
Oh gawd, I already know what happens, but never ceases to bring tears to my eyes every time I read this book!!!”

08/19 page 300 49.0%
08/23 page 485 79.0% “**July-August HP reread challenge

–It’s getting close to Snape’s shining moment, gawd…I love his story the best T.T”

08/31 marked as: read

And that Concluded my Harry Potter Re-read challenge this year.  If you took part, or even just read the books for the sake of reading the books (it’s undeniable, it’s an awesome series, though that’s only my opinion!), tell me your thoughts!!!  Because really…I’ve to hear them!

More Updates:

So, on the Poetry, Short Stories, and 55 Fiction front, I suppose in between writing my thesis, and unblocking my writer’s block on GR, I have in fact started writing poetry again.  So keep watching, and hopefully, I’ll have some stuff up soon!  I have missed writing poetry – to be honest, I never thought I would say such a thing since after all, I was never much of a poet to begin with.  And as for Books.  I have been severely behind (thank goodness I dropped my yearly challenge on GR to about 60 books this year) on reading this year, however, now free of academic restraints for a little while, I’ve been going on a reading binge!  Finally read The Fault In Our Stars and also discovered that I have a so many YA series to catch up on and finished (you’ll never believe…the majority of the books that I’ve recently borrowed from the library are all final books of series I’ve been meaning to read for ages).  Speaking of TBR books.  Later, or tomorrow I shall be taking on Sam’s TBR tag!

Even More Updates:

I don’t know if you guys remember but a while back I started blogging about the step-by-step process on a particular production procedure of one of my amateur art rampages:  The Zodiac Project (More specifically, the Western Zodiac).  If y’all remember, I only managed to post these three:

Virgo LibraScorpio

However, in the time since, I have been able to post the entire series on my DeviantART: www.n-arteest-deviantart.com.  And given time, I will proceed with putting up the step-by-step of the rest of the series soon :).  For the whole series sneak peak though, look below:

And Lastly, The Final Update Today:

Nanowrimo: Oh yes, I’m taking part in it again this! I’m a bit behind on the word count though, and I think partway through my story, it’s a sludge to read through, however!  I’m excited to be doing something creative once more that’s solo and not relying on others.  It’s strange and it feels like I haven’t done something like this for a long time, but hell, I’m looking forward to the end of Novemeber when I feel like I’ve accomplished something (even though I have accomplished several things this year, it’s just not the same).

NaNoWriMo

And that my dear Fellow Bloggers, Readers, and Friends, is all I have to say for now.   I’m glad to be back!

Day Six & Seven: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Day Six and Seven.

I am still on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Well, it’s not unexpected, I have been busy, but unlike Book 1 and Book 2, this one is slightly bigger and it feels like there’s more to it.

One of my favourite parts is :

  Sir Cadogan the knight in the painting!!! I forgot about him!!!! (on page 77 of 317)

That was my status update on Goodreads when I was reintroduced to Sir Cadogan.  It’s not an incredibly big rediscovery, but, I feel like it is.  I’m finding old friends all over again, if that makes sense haha!

And I noticed also, while the Book 1 introduced momentarily,  scenes that were narrated from Hermione and Ron (combined) perspective, particularly in the scene when Quirrell (at that point Hermione thought it was Snape) was cursing Harry on his broom during the Quidditch Match, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban so far, does not.  At all.  In fact, it almost always completely told from Harry’s perspective.

Anyway! Thought that was interesting haha.

Don’t forget to check out Sam’s blog too!

Day Five: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

So, I began Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban today.  And I remember thinking that the movies always got the beginning wrong.  Sure, the third Harry Potter movie is one of my favourite adaptations because all the important bits are there and it flows really well, whereas some of the ones later one don’t.  Anyway, well the opening scene in the movie is Harry using his wand to call light.  But the basic rule is that underage wizards can’ t magic outside Hogwarts.  In the book, Harry uses a torch  to work under covers.  And it seems, though I knew that, I actually had forgotten.  Funny how these little things slip the mind.

So I’m currently on page 50, and so far, one of my favourite scenes has just passed.  I absolutely love the moment when Harry boards the Knight Bus and calls himself Neville.  Loved it.

Day Four: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Fact: Although I know that authors plan to some extent the major plot for a series of novels, I just never really believed it when it came to the Harry Potter series.  Don’t ask me why, I just didn’t think about it.  And yet.

“Harry couldn’t explain, to even himself, why he didn’t just throw Riddle’s diary away. The fact was that even though he knew the diary was blank, he kept absentmindedly picking it up and turning the pages as though it was a story he wanted to finish.  And while Harry was sure he had never heard the name T. M. Riddle before, it still seemed to mean something to him, almost as though Riddle was a friend he’d had when he was very small, and half forgotten.  But this was absurd.  He’d neverhad friends before Hogwarts, Dudley had made sure of that.” p.175

It’s there.  It’s the indicator that Harry has a piece of Voldemort.   It’s so subtle.  So very subtle that it doesn’t really make any difference if you’re reading the series for the first time.  But then, when you’ve finished the series and reread it, you realise, omg…it was there right in front of me the whole time.

At least, that’s what I think :D.

And with the conclusion of the second book, tonight, I shall be contiuing the journey with the third, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban!  Don’t forget to check out Sam’s Journey as you follow Mine ^^

Day Three: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

 

I have finished the first Harry Potter book, and I’m pleased to say that I enjoyed it very much.  It was a surprise too.  I realised just how innocent it really is in comparison to the last four novels.  I’ve probably reread the last four novel more often than the first three even though I really love the first three novels.  It’s just when you’re at the age of 16 or something, reading the later books means you’re closer to their ages and it’s funner.  But yet.  I stil enjoyed the first book at my lovely age of 21.  There’s such an innocence to it, and when I wasn’t reading it, I felt lonely, and desired to go and pick up the book again.  Only I couldn’t because I’d promised myself to write 500 words more on my thesis.  Killer.  Only because there’s so much to say, that sometimes one just doesn’t know where to start.

But when I finally finished Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, I loved it all over again.

My favourite bits, as always were the Weasley Twins.  But also, at the very end when Harry and Hermione reach the last stage of the challenges and tests before Harry’s meeting with Professor Quirrell, that was my favourite.  I love the scene where Hermione figures out the potions.  And I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in the movie.  Just like when Harry meetsFluffy for the first time, Neville was also there too in the book!

So many suprises *sigh* and onto the next book!

About 100 pages into Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, it’s cute seeing Ginny have a crush on Harry.   But like the first book, there is still this childish innocence in the books and in the characters which later on…becomes maturity with age.

Alright! Don’t forget to keep reading if you’re in on this challenge with Sam and Me!

Day Two: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

It is the second day of July for me, and I am about 150 pages in that is in between working on my thesis and reading two books.  And I have also rediscovered several things.   Most of these things are things I noticed that are differences between the book and movie that I had completely forgotten, and others are just fascinating little moments.  It’s funny, I’m a reader and have read the Harry Potter books several times over and still, it seems I have forgotten some things and remembered things that weren’t in the original books !

– Uncle Vernon worked at Grunnings

– Dudley’s best friend was PiersPolkiss

– Oh! Dudley never go trapped behind the glass in the reptile section at the zoo….

– Dudley’s second room

– There IS actually a letters-in-the-eggs scene,  thought that was only in the movie, but no!

– Discovery: Hagrid told Harry about Voldemort before getting to Diagon Alley…man…it has been too long since I’ve read this book lols

– Hagrid stayed the night in that place on the island off the coast

– Harry met Draco in Madame Malkin’s.

– Discovery: Harry bought his school stuff a month before going to Hogwarts which I remembered

– Discovery: Omg that’s right Harry had a nice long convo -okay not that long- with Fred and George right before he got on the train

– Discovery: Actually maybe it should say ‘the little moments I forgot’ since right now there’s a great scene between the Weasley family right before the train leaves

– Discovery: The spell that Ron and Hermione use on the train in the movie is not actually in the book. and the train ride is so much longer lols

– Yup Harry bumps into Malfoy on the train again

– The ghosts turn up before they’re sorted……

– omgosh the Hogwarts song scene, the best ❤ Gotta love Fred and George and their slow funeral March tune :p

– and lastly where the movies completely leave it out – PEEVES

Yep, for those who have me on Goodreads, I kind of spammed everyone with every single one of these points.  I couldn’t help it, I forgot some of these things and thought of others in the wrong order, just goes to show how long it’s seemingly been.

Don’t forget to check out Sam’s Journey too: CLICK HERE

Day One: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

 

 

 

It’s started!!!  Today is the first day of the Harry Potter re-read Challenge for July that Sam and I are hosting!

I’m officially overly excited and what’s more, I really like can’t hold it in even though I’ve been slaving away for days over my thesis (it’s killing me by the way, I’ve never ever felt so inadequate as I do now that I’m working on it).  But when I held the first Harry Potter book in my hands, I was surprised, it’s so light, it’s also barely over 200 pages.  And it’s old.  Yes, the version I have is age worn.   It is sadly, a little discoloured from the fact that for several years it had sat on my windowsill exposed to the sun.  It also has my name and my brother’s name scrawled over the inner cover to alert others that it belonged to us.  And yet, it’s not gross in anyway (Samantha you’ll totally get the reference – even though it’s not referring to a library book :P) rather, it’s nostalgic.  Even the first words are nostalgic.  But there you go.  It’s the first day of the challenge, it’s also the first book, and the magic is already there.

I am excited,

To once again,

For the hundredth time,

To take this journey once more.

Remember, check out our pages!

Mine

Samantha’s