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

Hufflepuff

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.

pottermore.com


Ilvermorny House

Thunderbird

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.

pottermore.com


Wand

Not the best photo, but there it is!

pottermore.com


Patronus

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)

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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)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

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

Misery (1987)

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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)

 

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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)

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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)

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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 🙂

Writing Prompt #106: “The A to Z Writing Challenge: Favorite Songs/Music/Bands” (Letter R)

Welcome back!

April 19th – R

Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up), Florence + The Machine

I knew I needed to put at least one Florence + The Machine song on this list! They are awesome! I love her voice, and the energy she brings to every song they sing/produce.

This song is almost 10 years now (Wow). It was released in June 2009. Excuse me while I go listen to this, and find more songs from them!


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

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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #105: “The A to Z Writing Challenge: Favorite Songs/Music/Bands” (Letter Q)

Welcome back!

April 18th – Q

Queen

This was almost a no-brainer. Queen is such an epic band!!

There are so many songs from them that I adore. I know all the words to Bohemian Rhapsody!


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

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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #117: “Writing Table, Leeds, England” (Reblogged)

As I think about my experiences with my first Camp NaNoWriMo so far, I found this photo from England very fitting for today. I see photos of desks and libraries often, and I think this setup is perfect. It’s romantic, in a way.

It’s a little different, knowing that a desk like this would, in 2018, most likely hold some sort of computer rather than a journal, parchment, or stationery.

But, I like to wax nostalgic, thinking back to the days of my childhood when we didn’t have the family computer. I filled up notebook after notebook with random thoughts, song lyrics, the beginnings of stories, and more. I remember throwing out a bunch of them when I was a teenager, feeling ashamed at the time that I was holding onto the “childish” journals. I so wish I had kept them! But, I have memories. I made up stories about my Barbies, my stuffed animals, and eventually, Stephanie, my one American Girl doll I loved and treasured for many years. It was so innocent.

It fills me with happy memories, knowing that those journals and notebooks led me to writing longer stories. I have those stories in a blue binder covered with stickers – I did keep that. It makes me think how far I’ve come in my writing pursuits and endeavors. It makes me proud.

If I were sitting at this desk today, I wouldn’t have my laptop. I would have a notebook, or loose-leaf paper, with several pens, daydreaming and writing the day away. It makes me feel peaceful and pleased.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Just Wunderlust

Writing Table, Leeds, England

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Writing Prompt #104: “The A to Z Writing Challenge: Favorite Songs/Music/Bands” (Letter P)

Welcome back!

April 17th – P

(P.Y.T.) Pretty Young Thing, Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson has become one of my favorite artists. I remember first becoming interested in his music when I read Ryan White’s autobiography in high school. Ryan and Michael were good friends when Ryan was fighting his battle with AIDS in the late 1980s.

Until it was covered on Glee in 2011, I absolutely butchered the words of this song when I was singing it! I love that Glee covered many of Michael Jackson’s songs, I thought they did a good job with them.


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

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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #116: Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad V.!

Image may contain: 3 people, including Al Vardaro, people smiling, people standing and suit

With Al on our wedding day, November 2015.

Image may contain: 7 people, including Savy Beng Vardaro, Nick Vardaro, Laura Beth Vardaro and Al Vardaro, people smiling, people standing and indoor

I’m pretty sure this is the most recent picture of us. This was taken at Andy Boy’s, a local pizza place, for Momma V.’s birthday, March 2018.

Happy Anniversary to Al’s parents, Mom and Dad Vardaro!

It’s easy to remember how many years they’ve been married, because my parents have been married for the exact same number of years. Crazy, right? Both sets of parents got married in 1982, just in different months!

Bruce and Debbie, I hope you both had a great day today!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #103: “The A to Z Writing Challenge: Favorite Songs/Music/Bands” (Letter O)

Welcome back!

April 16th – O

Oops!… I Did It Again, Britney Spears

Like BSB and NSYNC, Britney Spears was a big part of my childhood. I loved her music from the very beginning, but once I got the Oops!… I Did It Again CD somewhere around 2000, I listened to it on repeat. I know most of the songs by heart, even all these years later!

This song was fitting. I belt it out whenever I hear it!


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

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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂