Posts Tagged ‘hogwarts’

“Working hard is important, but there’s something that matters even more. Believing in yourself. Think of it this way: Every great wizard in history has started out as nothing more than we are now. Students. If they can do it, why not us?” – Harry Potter (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)

hp

My body doesn’t care about what I want to do, or what I need to do. My body is an angry, vengeful creature staging a violent rebellion against me for everything I do. But I continue regardless, because things must be done, whether my body wants them done.
It makes writing difficult. It makes waking up earlier difficult. It makes focusing on projects and having the energy to complete anything difficult. It makes work difficult. It makes everything difficult. But I cope. I deal. I do my best.

I’ve spent so much time lately beating myself up for the days I can’t do the extra stuff. The days I can’t get out of bed. The days I give more to my day job than I get paid for. But being upset with myself makes matters worse. I need to be my own motivator, and instead I’m dragging myself down.

So, I will write. I will draw. I will post about Batman stuff and nerdy adventures.

Despite being horribly sick all week, I’m continuing on with work and trying desperately to find time to write. I hammered out a quick short story to get myself back into gear. It was sloppy and weird, and hummed with the influence of reintroducing horror back into my life as a regular staple.

But now, I need to get to work on more serious projects. I need to accomplish more.

I can do this. I can push though. I can be everything I want and more.

I just have to believe in myself. Why not me?

~Angel

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Please Note: All photos in this post are mine, and I haven’t had time to properly watermark any. Don’t take any without my consent or proper credit, please.

On that note, prepare for A LOT of photos.

I’ve been going to Orlando once a year for the past three years now, since I first started to get sick. It’s been my happy little escape from the chaos of the world I normally inhabit. But, I normally go in late Spring or Summer, so this was my first trip down when the Halloween festivities are taking place at Universal Studios and Walt Disney World.

I’m going to break this up into at least two posts, starting now with Universal Studios (which was the beginning of and best part of the entire trip.)

So, let’s begin, shall we?

I cannot talk about going to Universal in fall 2014 without mentioning that I FINALLY GOT TO SEE DIAGON ALLEY! And it was breathtaking.

King’s Cross Station, which is where you could board the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade.

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If you look around in London, whether you’re a fan of the books or films, you can find a certain grumpy house elf peaking out of one of the windows. This was one of my favorite little details. You had to know he was there to look for him.

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It’s a dream come true to get to ride the Hogwarts Express finally. It’s a different experience depending if you ride it to Hogsmeade or to London. To Hogsmeade was probably my favorite.

Then, there is Diagon Alley itself:

IT MAKES THE SOUND OF THE BRICKS MOVING LIKE IN THE MOVIE AND IT MAKES ALL THE GEEKY OVERLOAD JOY HAPPEN.

IT MAKES THE SOUND OF THE BRICKS MOVING LIKE IN THE MOVIE AND IT MAKES ALL THE GEEKY OVERLOAD JOY HAPPEN.

I don't think I've seen a picture yet that truly does justice to that dragon. Wherever you stand, you think that could be a real dragon. The detail is mind-blowing.

I don’t think I’ve seen a picture yet that truly does justice to that dragon. Wherever you stand, you think that could be a real dragon. The detail is mind-blowing.

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I absolutely loved the Escape from Gringotts ride. I was lucky, because it was dead when I went to ride for the first time, and I was able to pretty much just walk straight onto the ride. And it was a great ride, from the line getting you into the story to the ride itself. I've heard mixed opinions. But I adored it.

I absolutely loved the Escape from Gringotts ride. I was lucky, because it was dead when I went to ride for the first time, and I was able to pretty much just walk straight onto the ride. And it was a great ride, from the line getting you into the story to the ride itself. I’ve heard mixed opinions. But I adored it.

Now, Universal Studios does something at their parks in September and October called Halloween Horror Nights. It’s basically where they set up somewhere around eight houses and, this year, four scare zones. They also have a few shows special for the night. And I was lucky enough to have a VIP pass to get into three of this years houses before the event itself. The houses I visited: Halloween, Dollhouse of the Damned, and From Dusk Till Dawn.

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Halloween: This is, indeed, based off oh John Carpenter’s horror movie, Halloween, about Michael Myers. It’s specifically focused on the first film, though there are nods to the other movies in the series – including Halloween 3, surprisingly enough.

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This seems like a random weird image, but it's from a section of the house that makes you feel like you're in the closet being attacked by Myers, and there are two shirts hanging in the closet paying homage to two former Halloween Horror Nights houses: Freddy Krueger's sweater, and to the right of that, Leatherface's white shirt.

This seems like a random weird image, but it’s from a section of the house that makes you feel like you’re in the closet being attacked by Myers, and there are two shirts hanging in the closet paying homage to two former Halloween Horror Nights houses: Freddy Krueger’s sweater, and to the right of that, Leatherface’s white shirt.

I was having a horror-movie-junkie fan girl moment in the entire Halloween house, but the next house – Dollhouse of the Damned – was probably my favorite house, because it was so visually stimulating. This house was a concept house rather than a house based off of a film.

Also: enjoy Universal's dumpsters.

Also: enjoy Universal’s trash cans.

 

This is probably my favorite picture I took on the entire trip.

This is probably my favorite picture I took on the entire trip.

 

I should probably take a moment to acknowledge my awesome guides through the houses: Alex (left) and Kyle (right). I adored these two, and it was such a blast to wander around behind the scenes with them. I wanna write their bosses and tell them they did a fabulous job.

I should probably take a moment to acknowledge my awesome guides through the houses: Alex (left) and Kyle (right). I adored these two, and it was such a blast to wander around behind the scenes with them. I wanna write their bosses and tell them they did a fabulous job.

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Alex and Kyle demonstrating a scare.

Alex and Kyle demonstrating a scare.

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There was another special guest from a former Halloween Horror Nights house hidden in Dollhouse of the Damned. Chucky from Child's Play.

There was another special guest from a former Halloween Horror Nights house hidden in Dollhouse of the Damned. Chucky from Child’s Play.

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The last house we visited behind-the-scenes that day was From Dusk Till Dawn, based off of both the original movie, but also very heavily inspired by the newer TV series. While it was a very cool house, it was probably my least favorite of the three.

Obviously, the bar was a bit censored from the original name.

Obviously, the bar was a bit censored from the original name.

I have less blurry pictures of her, but for some reason I really like the slightly blurry feel of this.

I have less blurry pictures of her, but for some reason I really like the slightly blurry feel of this.

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Someone isn't having a good birthday.

Someone isn’t having a good birthday.

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So, that night, after all the house photo-taking goodness, my mother and I got to attend Halloween Horror Nights 24. There are two shows, one is a Bill & Ted Halloween show, which we didn’t attend. But I did go to the Rocky Horror Picture Show live, and it was AMAZING. I love RHPS and the show was incredible. Probably one of my all time favorites I’ve seen.

Not the most incredible shot on my part, but I was way too distracted by the awesome.

Not the most incredible shot on my part, but I was way too distracted by the awesome.

There were also the four scare zones set up in the streets:

The Purge

The Purge zone

The Purge zone

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The Bayou of Blood:

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FACE OFF: In The Flesh (Make-up looks from the show, recreated by some of the artists from the show!)

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One of my favorite parts of Halloween Horror Nights was the MASKerade: Unstitched zone.

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I think it’s super underrated, because a lot of people were claiming it was boring. But I loved it. Yeah, I wasn’t shaking in my Stormtrooper Vans over people in gowns, on stilts, wearing masks. BUT it was so beautiful and eerie at night in such a fantastic way. It sent my artsy brain into overdrive. I was sketching a day or two later when I was doing laundry:

This will eventually be a super awesome spooky painting.

This will eventually be a super awesome spooky painting.

 

So, there you have it. The epic wonderful highlights of my two days at Universal. I will have a post in a few days about Disney World itself. Plus, lots of health updates – not the best of them, either. So stay tuned.

~Angel

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….Heading to Orlando in the morning! It’s pretty exciting because 1.) I LOVE ORLANDO, 2.) New Wizarding World of Harry Potter section, Diagon Ally, is up, and 3.) I’ve never been during the Halloween stuff, so I’m going to take in what Walt Disney World (Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party) and Universal Studios (Halloween Horror Nights) have to offer me.

See you guys around October 10th!

~Angel

alice

“My life’s all I got, and Heaven is all in my brain.
And when I feel I’m in Hell, my ideas are what get me through pain.”

 It’s been a crappy health related week or so. Not too horrible. But there are some scary things happening and some procedures and ASAP referrals to new specialists for test concerns. I broke down crying yesterday, having a childish “why me/not fair” fit. Honestly, you deserve those sometimes when health stuff gets stressful, but not all the time. I can’t be broken all the time. Too much to get done.

But with the 5 billion things going on, I didn’t finish up my chapters for Brittaney (slipped my mind, can’t imagine why) and so now I feel like an extra super failure for not writing like I was supposed to. And with me being gone for two weeks, I’ll be even more behind on my writing, unless I take a laptop or notebook and some printed stuff with me to work on while I’m gone. But then I have to do a lot of hoping that I don’t end up too exhausted to write.

And I honestly am so freaking ready to just pack up and leave for Orlando. So ready. But I have a little over a week until I actually leave, so there is still waiting to be done. Luckily, not much. But the stress relief will do wonders for my health, I’m sure. If not physically, then at least mentally. I need my happy place.

 Despite the bad stuff, I am sketching more, and obviously the desire to write is there. Even with the chaos of the week, I did some writing. I just didn’t make it to my goal. I even worked on some outline stuff for NaNoWriMo to prepare for November.

 My creativity is willing to jump in and distract me from the pain and stress and everything else until I can escape for a while to refresh my mind, body, and soul.

Hopefully soon I can start sharing some art with you guys regularly, and possibly even have some to sell. But for now, I just sketch and practice and work away at being better.

Until next time,

~Angel

As a writer, I am also an avid reader. This is true for most every writer honestly. Two basic tips every writer gets about becoming a writer is: Write a lot, and read a lot. That tends to be where you start to figure out how to write, and what makes good writing. I’ve become rather picky as a reader, because I can’t stand poor writing. We learn to mimic and then develop our own writing styles from our various adventures into books.

Here are some of the writers that have shaped me, or are currently still teaching me a thing or two:

1.) J.K. Rowling

Where do I even begin? I can easily say this – I will never forget when I was a kid, and my mom and I were reading the end of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (we took turns reading the book to each other), and how excited it made me. Especially that showdown in the Chamber itself. Whoa, buddy. I couldn’t sleep because I was so into it, and I remember being desperate for the next book. That’s a damn good writer, in my opinion, to stick with a kid like that. I was like eight or nine when I read that book. And while I read all the time, I know that was my first experience where I was deeply affected by what I just read.

But aside from my childhood adoration, Rowling is a damn good creator of worlds. And not just that – she beautifully stitched her world into our world, in such a way that I still want to believe. Enough for seven books – not counting the extras like Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, etc – as well as eight movies, plus the now TWO theme parks… That’s a pretty powerful world, rich with details and developed perfectly.Harry_Potter_and_the_Chamber_of_Secrets_(US_cover)

2.) Stephanie Kuehnert

If you haven’t read “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone” or “Ballads of Suburbia“, go and do it right now. Well, maybe not read them at this exact second. But locate them. Buy them or borrow them or whatever it is you need to do to get your hands on these books. Then, you can fully appreciate how much I adore her writing. Her books feel real and raw, and less like fiction than reading a memoir or even recalling your own past. She has an eloquent way of writing, with idiomatic dialogue and descriptions.

Just trust me. I’ve never recommended these books to anyone who hasn’t loved them.

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3.) Cassandra Clare

Another weaver-of-worlds to admire, Cassandra Clare has beautifully connected her Shadowhunter worlds in The Mortal Instruments series and the Infernal Devices, not to mention the Bane Chronicles and the not yet released Dark Artifices (which ties in nicely with the rest in the final Mortal Instruments book, City of Heavenly Fire.) And that’s something I greatly admire. Some writers couldn’t handle having a multiple series universe, let alone trying to occasionally allow those characters to interact or the decisions in one book series have a reaction with an entirely different series. That’s pretty awesome to me.

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4.) A.S. King

Now here is a writer I truly envy, because her writing is amazing. Like, seriously. One of the most powerful scenes I’ve ever read was in her book “Please Ignore Vera Dietz” – there is a scene involving her father that struck home with me so hard, I had to close the book a moment just to breathe. But beyond that, there is something so beautiful and different about her style that I adore, and her characters are so strong, even when they’re weak. They’re real and developed and I love them. I’d recommend her books if you’re a writer looking to read something great to influence your style, or even if you’re just a reader looking for something new to love.

Please-Ignore-Vera-Dietz

 

Now, there are several other writers I could add to this, and I probably will do another round before long (seriously, how can I discuss writers I admire and NOT mention Stephen King, Joe Hill, or Jack London?), but for now this list is a good representation.

Stay tuned for more wonderful and super-dee-duper exciting updates on health, writing, and more.

~Angel

plane

“Never say ‘no’ to adventures. Always say ‘yes,’ otherwise you’ll lead a very dull life.”

— Ian Fleming

It’s stirring inside of me again. An overwhelming desire to pack up my bags and load the car, head onto the interstate or go to the airport. I need adventure again. I need to wander the streets of New Orleans, entranced by the music at every corner. I need to let go in Salem, dancing at circle on a sabbat with strangers, lost in the incredible connection of energy. I need Boston, out on the boat surrounded by whales. I need Chicago, listening to James Marsters sing before having dinner at his birthday party. I need Orlando, where I can hop on a ride and take on a new life for a few moments. I need to go. I need to see something other than the middle of nowhere.

 I don’t want to have to fight anymore,
I’m tired.
I don’t want to have to feel anymore,
uninspired.

It helps me with so much when I travel. My body may become physically exhausted, but my mind is clear and stress is relieved for oh-so-long while I’m away from my regular life. I feel like writing and creating and just aiming for the stars. I am reminded I can be more, and it wakes the muse inside my head.

So long my flame, my warmth, my fear, my fight,
The road’s calling again tonight.
Dreaming under street lights,
Maybe I’ll catch a train to Rome,
See the world until I can’t go on,
Then maybe I’ll come traveling home.

But sometimes, other people don’t exactly get that. So, again, I’m faced with people telling me I really need to consider my priorities, and buy a house and settle down, an do all of these things I couldn’t just do even if I wasn’t traveling so much. But the people telling me again and again, like they’re scolding a child, that I need to stay put a while don’t understand. I don’t think I’ll ever be happy in one place. Even if it’s just occasionally going to Orlando or something – I need to get away for a bit to function correctly. It seems that is the best medicine for me. It isn’t that I don’t love the people I have here, or anything. I just need a reset on occasion.

‘Cause when the road takes it’s toll
And these cities come and go
Filled with people I don’t know
You’ll be in my heart
And I’ll dream of where you are tonight.

So I’m going through a balancing act: save save save for adventures, and save save save for responsible adult life. And even though that still isn’t enough, at least I feel comfortable knowing I’m trying to manage what I want from my life, and what everyone else expects.

TooMuchToAsk

Maybe I’ll go it all alone
See the world and make my way back home
Or maybe I’ll keep traveling on

Either way, I will keep going. I will write. I will create. I will venture out into the world. I will find a home somewhere, some way, and I will build the life that fits what I need. But I will not give up or give in. I will continue to occasionally pack a suitcase and go somewhere else, even if it’s just a few days.

And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.

~Angel

 

Listentoyourheart

Note: I found this on Tumblr, and I’m not sure of the artist 😦 But I do not claim this as my own art. If I find the artists name, I will give credit.

I like to imagine that my muse looks like all of the fan art versions of Notebook from Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared.

Anyway,

So here I am, sitting around with stress and excitement and I’m just about to burst at the seams. Lots going on and so much positive to focus on that the stress of it all almost doesn’t matter. Almost. Because, you know, stress matters since it takes a lot out of you. And mine is taking a lot out of me, usually more than I have to give it.

But that isn’t what matters.

What matters is that I feel better. Obviously, not health better. But mentally and emotionally, I feel like I can handle this. I feel like I’m finally taking chunks of my life back and making my life everything that it can be.

And why, you may ask? What all do I have going on to be so positive about?

 

I’ll tell you:

DHMIS

 BEHOLD. This is my excitement level. 

First things first: I’m proud of myself for bringing my creative needs back to the Priority List. I mean, I’m not writing every single day, or selling books, or painting gorgeous pieces, or submitting more photos to magazines… But I am drawing. I am writing. I am working on this site. I am (slowly) booking shoots again. It’s more than just whining about needing to do these things. Instead, I am. It’s just baby steps for now.

Except, I should have a shiny new in-print article in my hot little hands before long. I’ll definitely post links and pictures and everything once it’s out. XD

Let’s see, what else is there….

 

Oh, yes – travel plans!

While I do have plans for a trip to Chicago, as well as a quick trip or two to Orlando this year, I have a bigger and better one brewing for Orlando next November (2015) with my beloved friends. And while I’m already incredibly excited… As you can see:

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I’m also using this as motivation for other things in my life. For example, I’m determined to pay down a bunch of bills (medical bills = evil beasties), and make my body healthier. And by healthier, I mean not only thinner and more toned, but actually HEALTHIER. There isn’t much I can do to slow down the Sjogrens, but I can still try to baby my body into maybe calming down naturally. We shall see.

And one more thing:

LOFK

 

I am hosting something incredible, and I still can’t believe I’m this lucky. I’m hosting an event May 1st at 6:30pm, at AMC Theater Farmington, MO to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Through the creators of the documentary Legends of the Knight, the people of Tugg.com, and AMC, we are holding a one night only screening of the movie Legends of the Knight, an inspirational documentary about Batman and the way he has touched peoples lives and inspired them to do better things. I’m doing all of this in memory of my friend, Eric, who passed away from complications with his Muscular Dystrophy in 2005 when we were both just 14 years old. To be able to hold the event, the theater has said we must sell out the 67 ticket threshold online to make it happen. Tickets go on sale March 29th.

For one night, we can all feel like Bruce Wayne and give a little back to the community.

 

To buy tickets, or check out more info, go here. You can check out more info at their site, http://www.WEareBATMAN.com

 

So that’s it for now! Stay tuned, folks. I’ve got a few more things up my sleeve. Life is getting interesting.

 

~Angel