Writing Prompt #110: “The A to Z Writing Challenge: Favorite Songs/Music/Bands” (Letter V)

Welcome back!

April 25th – V

Valerie, Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse was such a talented woman, may she Rest in Peace.

This is one of my favorite songs by her. I loved it when Glee covered it, too.

What are your favorite songs/music/bands that start with V?

Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear about it!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂


Writing Prompt #109: “The A to Z Writing Challenge: Favorite Songs/Music/Bands” (Letter U)

Welcome back!

April 24th – U

Unchained Melody, The Righteous Brothers

This was another no-brainer pick for me. I remember my mom singing along to this song when it played on our home stereo. She still does. It’s sweet, and romantic.

For those of you who may not recognize this song, it was prominently featured in the movie Ghost (1990), starring Patrick Swazye, Demi Moore, and Whoopi Goldberg.  It’s one of my mom’s favorite movies. I think I was in high school or just beginning college when I watched it with her for the first time. It quickly became one of my favorite movies, too. It’s set in New York, the cast is outstanding, and it’s a good story.

What are your favorite songs/music/bands that start with U?

Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear about it!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #70: Time’s 100 Best Young Adult Books Of All Time


Image Credit: TIME

Thrice Read did another cool lists / ranking post!

Here’s the link to the original list from Time’s website:

Rank and Title Read?
1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Yes
2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Yes
3. The Book Thief No
4. A Wrinkle in Time Yes
5. Charlotte’s Web Yes
6. Holes Yes
7. Matilda Yes
8. The Outsiders Yes
9. The Phantom Tollbooth Yes
10. The Giver Yes
11. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Yes
12. To Kill A Mockingbird Yes
13. Roll of Thunder, Hear Me Cry Yes
14. Anne of Green Gables No
15. The Chronicles of Narnia Yes
16. Monster Yes
17. The Golden Compass No
18. The Diary of a Young Girl Yes
19. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler Yes
20. Looking for Alaska Yes
21. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time No
22. Little House on the Prairie Yes
23. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane No
24. Wonder No
25. The Sword in the Stone No
26. The Catcher in the Rye Yes
27. Little Women Yes
28. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Yes
29. The Hobbit No
30. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Yes
31. Lord of the Flies Yes
32. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Yes
33. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Yes
34. Bridge to Terabithia Yes
35. The Call of the Wild Yes
36. A Separate Peace Yes
37. Harriet the Spy Yes
38. The Chocolate War Yes
39. Jacob Here I Loved Yes
40. A Series of Unfortunate Events No
41. Hatchet Yes
42. The Lord of the Rings No
43. Feed Yes
44. The Alchemyst No
45. The Princess Bride Yes
46. Beezus & Ramona Yes
47. Tarzan of the Apes No
48. Johnny Tremain Yes
49. The Westing Game No
50. The Wind in the Willows Yes
51. Speak Yes
52. Mary Poppins No
53. The Fault in Our Stars Yes
54. A Northern Light Yes
55. The Yearling Yes
56. The Hunger Games Yes
57. For Freedom No
58. The Wall Yes
59. A Monster Calls No
60. Percy Jackson & the Olympians No
61. The Illustrated Man No
62. A Wreath for Emmett Till No
63. Every Day No
64. Where Things Come Back No
65. Number the Stars Yes
66. Blankets No
67. Private Peaceful No
68. The Witch of Blackbird Pond Yes
69. Dangerous Angels No
70. Frindle Yes
71. Boxers and Saints No
72. The Graveyard Book No
73. City of the Beasts No
74. American Born Chinese No
75. The Lost Conspiracy No
76. Dogsbody No
77. The Pigman No
78. Alabama Moon No
79. Esperanza Rising Yes
80. The Knife of Never Letting Go Yes
81. Boy Proof No
82. Fallen Angels Yes
83. A High Wind in Jamaica No
84. The Tiger Rising No
85. When You Reach Me No
86. Saffy’s Angel No
87. The Grey King No
88. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH Yes
89. The Thief Lord No
90. The Mysterious Benedict Society No
91. The Invention of Hugo Cabret No
92. Sabriel No
93. Tiger Lily Yes
94. Secret No
95. A Wizard of Earthsea No
96. Tales of Mystery and Imagination No
97. Whale Talk No
98. The Chronicles of Prydain No
99. Danny the Champion of the World No
100. Twilight Yes

That’s my take on the list!

Yes: 52
No: 48

I have some more reading to do, I think.

What do you think? How many of these books have you read?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth

Writing Prompt #108: “The A to Z Writing Challenge: Favorite Songs/Music/Bands” (Letter T)

Welcome back!

April 23rd – T

True Believers, Darius Rucker

I loved Darius Rucker when he was a part of the epic band Hootie and the Blowfish, but he’s certainly made a name for himself in the country music arena, too.

This is one of my favorite songs by him. It was hard to pick just one for this challenge. I love his voice, and I love the message behind this song. Enjoy!

What are your favorite songs/music/bands that start with T?

Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear about it!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #69: My Hogwarts House and Other Fun Things

Thrice Read did this awesome post at the end of March.

Some of you know how much I adore Harry Potter, so I knew I had to write a post about this!

Hogwarts House


Traits: Loyal, patient, fair, hard-working, true.

You probably know that some of Hufflepuff’’s most renowned members include Nymphadora Tonks and Cedric Diggory. But did you know that Hufflepuff’s house ghost, the Fat Friar, still resents the fact he was never made a cardinal? Or that Hufflepuff has produced the fewest Dark wizards of any house at Hogwarts?

Hufflepuff Welcome Message:

Congratulations! I’m Prefect Gabriel Truman, and I’m delighted to welcome you to HUFFLEPUFF HOUSE. Our emblem is the badger, an animal that is often underestimated, because it lives quietly until attacked, but which, when provoked, can fight off animals much larger than itself, including wolves. Our house colours are yellow and black, and our common room lies one floor below the ground, on the same corridor as the kitchens.

Hufflepuff is certainly the least boastful house, but we’ve produced just as many brilliant witches and wizards as any other. Want proof? Look up Grogan Stump, one of the most popular Ministers for Magic of all time. He was a Hufflepuff – as were the successful Ministers Artemesia Lufkin and Dugald McPhail. Then there’s the world authority on magical creatures, Newt Scamander; Bridget Wenlock, the famous thirteenth-century Arithmancer who first discovered the magical properties of the number seven, and Hengist of Woodcroft, who founded the all-wizarding village of Hogsmeade, which lies very near Hogwarts School. Hufflepuffs all.

Hufflepuffs are trustworthy and loyal. We don’t shoot our mouths off, but cross us at your peril; like our emblem, the badger, we will protect ourselves, our friends and our families against all-comers. Nobody intimidates us.

Like badgers, we know exactly how to lie low – and how to defend ourselves.

I think that’s nearly everything. I must say, I hope some of you are good Quidditch players. Hufflepuff hasn’t done as well as I’d like in the Quidditch tournament lately.

You should sleep comfortably. We’re protected from storms and wind down in our dormitories; we never have the disturbed nights those in the towers sometimes experience.

And once again: congratulations on becoming a member of the friendliest, most decent and most tenacious house of them all.


Ilvermorny House


Named by Chadwick Boot after his favourite magical beast, the Thunderbird, a beast that can create storms as it flies. Thunderbird house is sometimes considered to represent the soul of a witch or wizard. It is also said that Thunderbird favours adventurers.



Not the best photo, but there it is!



A Stoat. Cool!

So, that’s it for me!

What is your House, your Wand, your Patronus?

Comment below!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Awesome Authors #14: Stephen King

Image result for stephen king quotes

Image Credit: The Odyssey Online

Stephen King has become one of my favorite authors. Originally, I avoided his work because of the horror elements. But, I like a lot of the work that he’s done. Read on to learn more!

Born in September 1947, he lived in Portland, Maine. His father, a merchant seaman, left the family when Stephen was two years old. His mother was left alone to raise Stephen and older brother David. They moved several times – Wisconsin, Indiana, and Connecticut. They eventually returned to Maine, where King’s mother cared for her parents until they died. He was raised Methodist.

King developed an early interest in horror, reading horror comics such as Tales From The Crypt. He contributed to his brother’s newspaper, Dave’s Rag. The first story of his to published was “I Was A Teenage Grave Robber,” serialized over four issues of a fanzine in 1965. He graduated from the University of Maine in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in English. His first child, Naomi Rachel, was born the same year. He married Tabitha Spruce in 1971, and also had two sons, Joseph King and Owen King.

He was nearly killed on June 19, 1999, when a distracted driver struck him while he was walking along the shoulder of Maine State Route 5. After five operations in ten days, and physical therapy, King was able to resume writing his memoir.

He has published 54 novels, and six non-fiction books. He has also written over 200 short stories. King has received multiple awards and medals, including Bram Stoker Awards, British Fantasy Society Awards, the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America, and a National Medal of Arts from the United States National Endowment for the Arts.

Carrie (1974)


Image Credit: Wikipedia

Carrie wasn’t the first book of King’s that I remember reading, but I do remember hearing about it for years before I read it. They even used the book as part of an episode on horror literature for Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego? in the mid-1990s.

The Shining (1977)


Image Credit: Wikipedia

This is one of those books where the author has a different opinion of the movie adaptation!

Misery (1987)

Stephen King Misery cover.jpg

Image Credit: Wikipedia

I knew King had written Misery, but I didn’t actually read it until I was in college. One of my friends was in my Museums in Paris class. When we went to Paris over spring break, she was reading it for her American Literature class. I read it after school let out for the summer, and I was cold the entire time!

The Green Mile (1996)


Image result for the green mile book

Image Credit: Amazon

The Green Mile is one of my favorite books. My parents said I was too young to see the movie adaptation when it came out in theaters in 1999. But, it’s now one of my favorite movies. Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan (May he Rest in Peace) give outstanding performances.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (2000)


Image Credit: Wikipedia

King’s memoir was one of the first books that I read, and then immediately re-read. I originally borrowed it from the library and renewed it, but resolved to get my own copy as soon as possible. I think I first read this in either 2009 or 2010, when I was taking several fiction and non-fiction classes at Longwood.

This is one book that I will never give away. It’s incredibly valuable to me. In fact, I think I need to read it again soon.

11/22/63 (2011)


Image Credit: Wikipedia

The only reason I can think of why this book is still on my TBR is because it’s just gigantic. Like, 849 pages.

However, Al and I watched the miniseries adaptation on Hulu in 2016, and that was impressive.

What about you? Have you read any of Stephen King’s books or work?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #107: “The A to Z Writing Challenge: Favorite Songs/Music/Bands” (Letter S)

Welcome back!

April 20th – S

Sugar, Maroon 5

This is one of my favorite songs of all-time! No, I’m not kidding. Once I discovered this song and music video, it became a true earworm. I think Al’s mom first told me about it!

I’ve watched the music video on YouTube at least 20 times!

We didn’t play this song at our wedding, but I love the idea of associating it with weddings. It’s so catchy. Plus, Adam Levine is very easy on the eyes.

What are your favorite songs/music/bands that start with S?

Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear about it!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂