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I’m Back!

Hey, everybody! After an unplanned hiatus, I have returned to Middle Hyrule. I have big plans for this blog and for my other, The Eccentric Author; I want to make them better than ever before. But even if I change my plans a little, I promise posting will be up – today alone I’ll probably make several posts. So I just have one thing to ask now:

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Guest Post: Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Seventh Safeguard

Today I have the honor of hosting a guest post from Charlotte Kent, who runs the fabulous blog Of Stars, and Ships, and Meadows Green. Her story is a crossover between the universes of Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes. Enjoy Chapter One below, and I encourage you to check out the rest on her blog!

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Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Seventh Safeguard

Disclaimer: This non-commercial, derivative work is an independent production by Charlotte Ann Kent and is not associated with The Doyle Estate, the BBC, Warner Bros, or J.K. Rowling.

 

Chapter I: The Strange Case of Amelia Bones

I had never known my friend, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, to be as totally preoccupied with anything so deeply and for such a long time since the death of the late Professor Moriarty as he was over the course of the year preceding this narrative.  And never, in all the years I had known him, had he been as recalcitrant in answering questions.

For some months, I had thought it was just the strange case of Ms. Bones which had absorbed him so thoroughly.  Ms. Amelia Bones, a quiet middle aged lady living alone in London, had been found dead in her home.  All the doors and windows had been locked from the inside and there was no evidence of a break-in, yet there were clear marks of a desperate struggle.  Sherlock had originally scoffed at the sensational nature of the reports, and lost no time getting on the case himself.  After a prolonged examination of the house and the room of the murder, he told the police that the people they were looking for were four in number, three men and a woman, all booted and dressed in long cloaks.  He noted that woman was remarkably tall, with very long black hair and untrimmed nails.  The murder itself – which apparently came after protracted abuse of Ms. Bones – had been committed by one of the men.  Him, Sherlock described as having small feet with long toes, narrow fingers, and a height significantly above that of the woman.  He had stood in the middle of the room for some time after the initial struggle, talking apparently, before he killed his victim.  When the police asked him how these persons got into the locked room, and then back out again without unlocking the doors, breaking the windows, or leaving their tracks anywhere except the room of the murder, Mr. Holmes fixed the officer with a strange look and replied simply: “They teleported.”

After this he was always busy.  I was not surprised, for I knew he could not be satisfied until he had gotten to the bottom of the mystery.  I did not for one second believe that he really meant that they had teleported, supposing this to be merely sarcasm.  He several times took great interest in cases which seemed simple enough to everyone else.  He would be absent from London for days at a time, and neglect to volunteer information about where he had been.  When asked he would be, as it seemed to me at the time, deliberately evasive.  He also, and this to me seemed the strangest thing of all, took up studies of a new and most unusual kind.  I could not find the common point in his research; everything from highly technical works on the most up-to-date and abstract micro-physics, to paranormal theories I would have expected him to give a mile’s berth.  When I asked if I could help, he assured me that he would be certain to call on me if there was anything I could do … but he still didn’t say what he was up to.

All through this of course, he kept on with his normal work, handling at least as many, perhaps more, cases that year than usual.

It was on the first of August that I finally heard something of the theory which had preoccupied my friend so entirely for so many months.  We had just returned from Cornwall, upon an investigation into the disappearance of a young lady by the name of Charity Burbage.  She had not, it appeared, been seen for several weeks by the time Sherlock Holmes was called to the case, and there had been little that even he could ascertain from her house by that time.  There was no sign of a break in; she might have just left it for the afternoon.  She was reported by the neighbours to be a friendly and outgoing woman who spent most of the year up north, where she apparently worked as a teacher.  But no one could provide any concrete details on her work or her colleagues.  We went back to London that night, as I thought, little the wiser about the young lady’s fate.  Sherlock was quiet on the train; I guessed that this time even he was stumped.  Rather than returning straight to our homes, he to Baker Street and I to Queen Anne Street, we stopped in a small café for a late supper.

The room was empty and kind of dingy, and my companion was still wrapped in a taciturn reverie, so I busied myself with the evening paper whilst we ate (or rather I, for he ordered only a coffee).  There was a television playing in the corner.  My companion’s back was to it, and he showed no signs of being aware of it, or of anything in the café.  It took me by surprise, therefore, when the introspective thinker suddenly awoke; his face had become intent and he swung quickly around to look over his shoulder.  A news report was playing and it was clearly this which had caught his ear.

“… but by the time the firemen and rescue personnel arrived on the scene, there was no sign of the reported conflagration.  A second witness claims to have heard cries at about the time of the initial report, which he said could have been coming from near the corner of Dwight and Forth Streets, but he admits that he might have been mistaken.  It remains unclear whether the whole affair was an elaborate joke, if something did indeed happen at the corner, or if someone made a genuine mistake.  Meanwhile, at Windsor …”

Sherlock drew his phone from the pocket of his blazer as he turned away.  From the suppressed excitement of his face, and the urgency of his movements, it was clear that this story meant a great deal more to him than it did to me.

“You think the incident has some bearing on a case?” I asked, attempting to discern the cause of his reaction.

“Yes indeed it does, if I am not gravely mistaken.  A rather great bearing.  I was expecting something of the sort.”

“Expecting pranksters?”

“It wasn’t a prank.” he replied, apparently carrying on two conversations at once, for he was texting quite hastily.  “I’m sure there really was a fire, or something very closely resembling one.  It had just been put out before the rescue team got there.”

“By whom?”

“Probably by the people who started it.”

“You expected arson?” I said in surprise.  “Shouldn’t you then have warned the police?”

“Why, my dear fellow, you do me an injustice. … I did not in fact inform Scotland Yard, but Mycroft knew full well to watch out for disturbances and suspicious sightings in that area.”  He chuckled; his brother’s position in the governement gave him significantly better powers of observation than the police had easy access to.  “I rather fancied Scotland Yard might be a bit out of their depth.”

“Well …” I said, looking in surprise at Sherlock, whose expression had immediately lapsed back from the brief chuckle into that of serious concentration, “apparently, so was Mycroft.”  

“That report had almost nothing.  All we know is that something happened there at nine o’clock this evening.”

These strange assertions did little to enlighten me.

“Sherlock … this doesn’t have anything to do with the Amelia Bones case, does it?”

“You are quite on the mark this evening, John.”  “It has everything to do with Amelia Bones. … Mycroft knows almost as little as we do.  The alarm of fire was given by one of the agents he had stationed there and the other is missing.”

Mycroft stationed agents at the corners of Dwight and Forth Streets?!” I said in shock.  “What were you expecting to happen?  Your brother doesn’t post agents over suspected arson.”

“It wasn’t arson.” he said.  “It was a battle. … Gang warfare, John.”

“Gang?  The gang that killed Ms. Bones, you mean?”

“Exactly.  In fact I have reason to believe that it was her murderer who led this attack.”

Thrilled at finally getting a hint of what he’d been up to all this time, I pursued the thread.

“Who was the murderer?”

“A dangerous and highly unusual man.  Tall, thin, long-fingered, cruel, arrogant, fond of the sound of his own voice, violently racist towards ordinary Englishmen, the owner of an extremely large and remarkably well trained python, possessing a great amount of resources, an extraordinary variety of odd technology, and who appears to be the leader of a murderous organization which is very well hidden but spread throughout all of Britain.”

“He’s the … leader of a gang?”

“Yes.”

“What do you mean he’s racist towards ordinary Englishmen?  Do you mean class hatred?”

“No.” he fixed me with an odd look.  “I mean people like you and me, John.”

My confusion must have shown on my face, for he continued wryly:

“Yes, that does happen.  It unfortunately happens more often than you’d think.  This gang leader is only one such.”

“Who is he?”

“His name you mean?”

“Mm-hm.”

“Well, of this I cannot be sure … but I have a theory.  I believe, or rather to be fair, I think it highly likely, his name is Riddle.”

“Just Riddle?  Is that some sort of …”

“No no, nothing of the kind.  But I have reason to believe that he was the son of a country squire named Thomas Riddle, which would make his surname Riddle.”

“Well, that doesn’t sound so very far from ordinary.  What exactly do you mean by …” I broke off as his gaze suddenly flashed to the door.  A pair of teenagers had just come in together, a girl and a boy.  Besides the slightly odd fact that the girl was wearing a lovely lavender party dress while the boy was in worn jeans and a rumpled orange sweatshirt, I could see nothing about them to warrant interest.  But I could see that Sherlock, though pretending to play with his phone, was really watching them very closely.  They took a booth near the door, and sat there, looking a bit uncomfortable.  They were speaking to each other, but in whispers I could not pick up.

“What is it?” I asked my companion.

“They’re fugitives.” he said beneath his breath, still playing with the phone.

“How do you make that out?”

“Look at them.  They’ve just come from a formal event. Look at her clothes and hair.  But they left in a hurry.  He was wearing dress clothes too, but changed out of them quickly.  He pulled on the clothes he’s wearing now fast and carelessly.  But he’s still wearing his dress shoes.  They were at the event together then, but he changed.  Why?  Not for practicality’s sake.  If that had been the case she’d have taken off those heels.  Perhaps because his clothes would stand out more than hers. … Long robes, for instance.”  He gave me a look, as if wondering whether I got something.  Then I remembered he had described Ms. Bones’ assailants as wearing long cloaks or robes.  “They are clearly nervous, perhaps they expect to be followed.  The young lady keeps looking over her shoulder at the door.  So, they left a party in a great hurry, were worried they would stand out, fear attack … and don’t know what to do next.  You can see from their manner that they are uncertain.”

“Maybe it’s just a bad date?”

“No.  That wouldn’t explain him changing his outfit.  And hers is too formal for that.  And they aren’t nervous about each other.  Look at the way she’s leaning across the table towards him, it’s almost conspiratorial, they’re very used to each other.  They can’t be out of school yet, or at least he can’t.  But they aren’t related, at least not closely. … First of all there’s their appearance, absolutely no family resemblance.  Then there’s their clothes.  Her things appear new.  Not his.”

“Well, hers are formal wear.”

“Yes, but he’s still wearing his formal shoes.  Did you notice the soles?  Almost worn through.  A boy that age doesn’t usually fit a pair of dress shoes long enough to wear them through.  They’re hand-me-downs then, or second-hand.  Her family has to be at least solidly middle-class.  His is short on money.  These school children are not close relatives then, but still very familiar.  School friends then.  And what might we deduce about their companion?”

Companion?” I asked, trying to keep my voice down in my surprise.  “Sherlock, there’s only two of them.”

“Yes.  I wouldn’t expect you to notice him.  But this isn’t the first time this year I’ve happened across difficult to see things.  Did you notice the way they walked in?  She came first, and he followed some space behind her, pausing just momentarily, but leaving a good space between them.  She sat down right away in the left hand side, but he waited before taking the opposite seat; looking not at her but at the seat.  It shifted, just slightly, before he sat down.  There is a third person sitting next to him on the right hand bench.”

“But how …”

“The manipulation of light waves to bend around an object rather than bouncing off it has been theorized.  Of course, none of our scientists have yet managed to make such an object, but this group has done enough strange things that we have not that I find it not in the slightest difficult to conceive that they have done this also.  Especially since the proof sits in front of me.”

“Well then,” I said, with raised eyebrows, “what can be deduced about him … or her?”

Him, I think, though I shalln’t insist on this point.  Judging by the shifting of the bench, I’d say he’s slightly lighter than his red-headed friend (how tall it is impossible to say).  Unlikely to be a full grown man then, although he could be a small one.  Possibly he could be a woman.  But more likely another teenager.  And look at their manner to him.  They aren’t directly addressing him, and he hasn’t ordered a drink. … They are pretending there’s only two of them, but they keep giving off subtle cues showing that the third person is very much a part of their little group.  When she bends across the table, it isn’t directly towards the red-head.  Their posture takes him into account.  They probably don’t even realize it.  They don’t look directly at the corner seat much, but they keep glancing towards it, not nervously, but conversationally, and at least in her case, rather sympathetically.  Whoever is sitting there is clearly not only an ally, but as familiar as they are to each other, they neither avoid him, nor defer to him, he is solidly one of them. … In all likelihood a third school friend.  A little knot of three.

“But it is only he who is invisible.  It’s probably a small piece of equipment, worn like a cloak or a poncho.  Since they are obviously keen on not being seen, they would clearly all be wearing them if they had them, but they are not, so they only have one.  And he gets it.  Why?”

“Because … it’s him, or her, that’s actually in danger?”

“A sound conclusion.  For some reason, the third person is either in more danger, or is more likely to be noticed, or both.” continued Sherlock.  “He gets the invisibility cloak.”

Invisibility cloak.” I said with half a laugh shaking my head.  “Sherlock, you have a point, but that sounds so …”

“So what?”

“…. Silly.”

“No, not at all.  In theory it’s really rather simple, you merely…”

“No, I don’t need a science lecture. … I’ll take your word for it. … Now, why are they on the run?  Something to do with that … battle you mentioned?”

“The two incidents are too close for them to be coincidental.  There’s something going on there at the corner of Dwight and Forth, related to this secret minority or gang.  I’ve been keeping a close eye on it, and have very good reason to believe that it is something of a centre of operations.”

“What have you seen?”

“It’s more what I haven’t.” he said.  “I don’t normally wake up on Northumberland street with no idea how I got there, but with a clear memory of having intended to search Dwight and Forth that morning.”

“You think that someone messed with your mind?”

“I’m sure that they did.”

“And you’ve no idea what happened that day?”

“Oh, I have a very good idea.”  He smiled grimly.  “But I have absolutely no ‘memory’ of the hours between ten and one. … Clearly …”

“I see. … And, is this the only time this has happened?”

He shook his head.  “No, something similar has happened on at least two other occasions since I got on the case – possibly three.”

“So, you obviously found something …”

“And they took it back.  Yes.” he snapped.  “But I’m quite certain about Dwight and Forth.  They didn’t see me every time – I was quite right in telling Hopkins about the long robes and cloaks, by the way.”  His momentary irritation had faded.  “So, a battle happens at a central base of operations, almost immediately thereafter, three school children run away in the middle of a formal party, try to blend in among normal people, aren’t sure where to go or what to do now, expect attack, and bother to make one of their number invisible.”

“Their side lost the battle.” I said, but this time I wasn’t asking.

“I think they must have.  And for some reason these three children expected immediate recrimination.  Why?  They’re just teenagers.  It’s difficult to see why they would be special targets.”

“But what is really under the cloak?”

“Yes, I think that has to be it.  He is on the run, and they have accompanied their friend.  So, the third person is someone of importance to this secret war, on the side which has just lost a battle, and unless I’m gravely mistaken, against the side which is responsible for Ms. Bones murder and Miss Burbage’s abduction.”

“Wait.  Miss Burbage was abducted?  You didn’t say that before.  How do you know that, there was nothing in her house to …”

“She was abducted.” he said, as if there could be no mistake about the matter.  “I’m afraid it is highly unlikely that she is still alive.  And even if she were, it would be impossible for the police to effect a rescue at this stage.  But this teen …”  He broke off, his eyes flashed to the door, where two big, ill-tempered looking men in road-work uniforms had just come in.  They stomped to a table behind us, near the teens, out of my sight.  Sherlock, though he kept his face mostly in the direction of his phone, clearly found something either interesting or alarming about them (probably both, I thought to myself).  

“Humph.” he observed.  “Didn’t even bother to scuff up their boots.  John, I did recommend you bring your handgun today … ”

“Yes, I have it.”

“You might want want to have it where you can reach it quickly.  There might be an exchange of unpleasantries.”

“They aren’t workmen?”

“Goodness no.  Look at their hands. … No, don’t look, you’ll attract attention.  And see, they aren’t here for coffee or sandwiches.”  The waitress was walking off towards the back looking miffed.

“Should we uh … say something?  Maybe?” I suggested.

“Oh no.” my friend replied.  “We shall watch the situation develop. … Besides, I rather fancy our invisible young friend has read the signs too.”  He leaned back a little in his seat and pressed the tips of his fingers together, surveying the ‘developing situation’.  In response to his warning, I had taken my pistol off safety, and had it in my hand.  I could not see the two men from my position, and so waited uncomfortably in the knowledge that a fight between grown men and mere children was brewing behind my back.  Then suddenly, Sherlock leapt to his feet with a cry of warning … and chaos broke loose.

The scene that followed was of such a singular nature, and was so outré a sight, that I hesitate to describe it.  My first thought was that there had been an explosion, for in the moment it took me to jump up and turn round, there was a succession of loud noises of an unfamiliar nature, accompanied by much crashing and flashes of light.  But the scene which met my eyes was one of near comedic nonsensicalism.  From what Sherlock had told me, I should have expected it, but nevertheless, the sight of a hand and wrist hovering in mid-air all by themselves took me by surprise.  And so too did their weapons.  For a fraction of a second I thought that they had none, and wondered why they were grasping small drumsticks, before I realized that those were their weapons.

With a shout, I sent a bullet into the table beside the not-workmen to get their attention before any of them had time to fire again.  For a moment the two teens and the remaining man (the other had slumped over on the bench) stopped and looked at us with what seemed to be astonishment.  The bodiless hand paused in mid-air.

“I don’t know what your problem is.” I said.  “But you don’t have to go around smashing up shops and zapping passer-bys!  Put the drumsticks down!”

“I recommend that you don’t make him fire again.” Sherlock said coolly.  “The first was a warning shot.  The second won’t be.  And I’ve never seen him miss.”

There was a moment’s pause in which the astonishment on all three of the faces was replaced by an ugly sneer on the not-workman’s face and horror on the girl’s face.  Then the not-workman began to laugh, a nasty laugh which chilled my stomach.

Certain that this was the prelude to something not at all friendly, I began to threaten.

“Point that drumstick at me,” I blustered, “and …”

And then he pointed it at me.  Then, as far as I could make out, everyone – besides Sherlock and the unconscious not-workman – fired at once.

For a moment I could make no sense of it.  My own bullet whizzed right back past me and took out a light-panel.  The not-workman fell backwards with a horrible shriek, in spite of the fact that my bullet couldn’t possibly have hit him.  There was more flashing, a window broke, and the waitress slid to the ground.

Then all was quiet, and Sherlock Holmes, the two teens, the bodiless hand, and I stood there amidst the wreckage of the café.

“Well. … That. Was. Interesting.” said Sherlock.

I turned to the teenagers: “You all right, kids?”

 

~*~

Chapter 2 ~ The Mansion Hidden in London’s Heart is available on Charlotte’s website, Of Ships and Stars and Meadows Green

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Happy Lord of the Rings Day!

Well as some of you may know, today is March 25th, the day that Frodo and Sam (and Gollum) destroyed the Ring in the fires of Mount Doom – the day that Sauron fell and all that good stuff. So to celebrate, today has been declared International Lord of the Rings day, which IS a real holiday, and I refuse to consider it otherwise.

The Lord of the Rings has inspired generations of readers and viewers and accumulated a massive fanbase. Through this classic trilogy and epic film franchise, millions of people around the world have come to love the story of the One Ring and the people affected by it. I know for a fact that Lord of the Rings has changed my life and continues to do so. As soon as I am able, I want to get the Ring’s inscription tattooed on my shoulder. Probably that will be my only tattoo, but suffice it to say that this story has literally become a part of me and I want to make that… even more literal, I guess?

Anyway, the amazing story of the One Ring has actually been broken up into three fandoms (more if you count the books separately). Those are The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the Cast Fandom, which all fall under the umbrella of the Tolkien Fandom. And I happen to be in all of them. This video, a music video for the song that played in the credits of “Battle of the Five Armies”, always hits my heart in all the best ways. For major feels and a surging sense of pride in this fandom, I give to you Ladies and Gentlemen, the Official MV for “The Last Goodbye”.

No better way to celebrate than with all of the fandoms that we came to love, put together just like they should be.

Give me your LotR experience in the comments!

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Character Assessment · Uncategorized

International Women’s Day

Happy international women’s day! Today our sisters all over the world are celebrating our power and the way that we have proved ourselves time and again. So what better way to celebrate the accomplishments of real women than by looking at some lovely fandom ladies? I’m going to post about five girls, in no particular order, who slay, rise up, and look really good while doing it. Girls rule the world!

 

Eowyn (The Lord of the Rings)

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When I said “girls who slay”, I literally meant, in Eowyn’s case, girls who slay. Eowyn is a shieldmaiden, a female warrior who has no fear of battle or death. The only thing she fears is obscurity, and once she wins glory for herself, (saving the whole world in the process), Eowyn is bulletproof. Fearless. Perfect. Though she was always that. She shows us a beautiful love story, both for the man she will marry and the world she seeks to defend. Eowyn is an amazing woman, and that’s why she’s on this list.

What makes Eowyn different: She’s a princess, but she doesn’t need anyone’s protection. She is headstrong, as well as physically strong.

What makes her a good role model: Eowyn teaches girls that no matter what circumstances they are in, they can find a way to fight out of it.

Inspiring Eowyn Quote: You are looking upon a woman. Eowyn am I, Eomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.

 

Nina Rosario (In the Heights)

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Nina is from “In the Heights”, a musical by Lin Manuel-Miranda about Hispanic immigrants living in Washington Heights. Nina is one of the first from their relatively poor neighborhood to make it to college – Stanford, one of the country’s best. Everyone expects amazing things from her, but now, she’s not sure if she can live up to their expectations. See, Nina has just dropped out of college, and she is having an identity crisis. There are too many reasons for this to list here, but suffice it to say she frankly doesn’t know what she wants or who she is. And then she falls in love. Benny, a man who works for her father, is able to help her, and with his aid and her own perseverance, Nina is healed and able to understand what she wants to achieve.

What makes Nina different: Nina is brilliant, smart, and capable, but she is also broken. She needs someone to help her see these things in herself so that she can use her many gifts to do something she will be proud of.

What makes her a good role model: Sometimes, people need to ask for help. Nina shows us that this is okay, that we don’t need to fill ourselves up with pride and assume “I don’t need a man”. As a woman, this is a great lesson.

Inspiring Nina Quote: “I feel like all my life I’ve tried to find the answer
Working harder, learning Spanish, learning all I can
I thought I might find the answers out at Stanford
But I’d stare out at the sea
Thinking, Where am I supposed to be?
So please don’t say you’re proud of me, when I’ve lost my way”

 

Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter)

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Luna is the perfect blend of wacky, unique, intelligent, and brave. She stands out because of the way she dresses, but also because of the way she treats people. Luna is kind to everyone, and sees their potential even when they don’t. Because of the weird aura that she gives off, people tend to stay away from her and find her strange, but Luna never lets anyone’s opinion affect her, instead continuing to be who she is and not care what anyone thinks of her. Give it up for this amazing girl!

What makes Luna different: Luna is easy to spot from a crowd. She’s a unique individual, and she lets that show in the way she dresses and in her personality.

What makes her a good role model: It’s so easy to conform to the standard and try to fill a mold. Luna teaches girls why you don’t have to do this to be beautiful inside and out.

Inspiring Luna Quote: “Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.”

Gwen (Merlin)

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Gwen is kind and loving. She has a desire to protect everyone. She is the love interest of Prince Arthur, but unlike some portrayals of Guinevere, in “Merlin”, she has a real personality behind that. She may seem to fade into the background, but everyone is always able to rely on her in times of trouble, sadness, or just for a laugh when things are peaceful. Even when things get dark, Gwen keeps persisting, helping the wounded and setting things straight again. Her presence lights up a room, and no matter who you ship Arthur with, you cannot help but love Guinevere.

What makes Gwen different: She’s not a warrior, but she possesses a survivor’s spirit. She has a maternal instinct, even though we never actually get to see her as a mother.

What makes her a good role model: The roles of a mother and a wife are two of the most important roles a woman will ever have to play. Gwen teaches us how to excel at both.

Inspiring Gwen quotes: “I may be the Queen, but you don’t have to hide your secrets from me.”

Tenoh Haruka (Sailor Moon)

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I have not watched all of either Sailor Moon anime, so all of this is based off of Haruka in the manga. Haruka, also known as Sailor Uranus, is one of the ten Sailor Senshei that protect the world. She is also the princess of Uranus. Haruka is sassy and headstrong, and she is also fierce, especially when protecting people that she loves. What’s really unique about Haruka, though, comes when you understand the time period Sailor Moon came out in. The show came out in the 90s, a time when women’s rights and LGBT rights were not hot button issues like they are now. Haruka stood for both. Additionally, all ten of the Sailor Senshei are fighters and warriors, while still remaining very feminine. (Haruka is maybe the exception to this as she is usually in disguise as a boy – though she does wear skirts sometimes.) This is inspiring, not only for little girls in the 90s, but for girls of all ages even today.

What makes Haruka different: Haruka can’t be labeled under any stereotype or classified by any trope. Instead, she created her own category. And she rocked it.

What makes her a good role model: Haruka teaches girls to fight for what they believe in, and she, along with the other Senshei, shows us the rawest, most perfect definition of girl power.

Inspiring Haruka Quote: “Maybe you misunderstood. A world without Haruka isn’t a world worth saving.” – Sailor Neptune

So who are your favorite fictional ladies? I wanted to do more, but I’m running out of time, and I need to get going for my day. So I’m putting it in your hands to give plenty more! Tell me who they are and why they’re inspiring to you, and I’ll feature several answers in a future post.

Get out there and rock it today, ladies!

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Fanfiction · Uncategorized

Featured Essay

As most of you know, I am on Archive of Our Own, and as some of you who are also on AO3 might know, the 15th was International Fanworks Day. They asked for essays explaining why fanworks (fanfic, fanart, etc.) are important to you. Six were featured. Mine was one of them. ^.^ If you’re curious, here it is below.

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For as long as I can remember, I have loved to write.

Poetry. Books. Short Stories. Songs. Shojo Manga. I write anything and everything that I can – any idea that I can latch onto with my brain and take over. To me, ideas are not created. Ideas appear and take off running, beckoning a writer to snatch them and spin them into threads of story. Since ideas come to me in different forms, I use different mediums to express them.

I have discovered over the past fifteen years of my life that writing is not for the faint of heart. To discover another world and then create it, knowing that what has become a part of you is not even real, is something all writers must grapple with. It is a struggle and a delight to watch the people you breathed into existence go throughout their lives – and to know that they are under your hand, even as they claim your heart. They rest in your power, and you rest in theirs.

On a more superficial level, writing is difficult because it is time-consuming. Creating metaphors requires thought. Plotting can require extensive planning. And sometimes, out of exhaustion or laziness, creating original fiction is something I cannot bring myself to do.

Not only is writing hard – living is hard. For the writer and for everyone else, life is difficult, also a struggle and a delight, the same as building a universe by pressing keys. This world is dark. Occasionally, this world is frightening. And when a person is put into a situation where they do not feel competent, comfortable, they seek to escape it.

That’s where fanfiction comes in for me. As a writer, a person who creates fiction, I constantly seek out fiction. Broadway tracks. Books. Comics. Television. I use them the way some people use stimulants: to escape the world. Unlike people who escape the world by drugging themselves out, however, I trade this world for another. I walk the paths of Middle Earth, fight at the barricade with Les Amis, and mow down the enemies of Hyrule – all without ever leaving my couch. When it is over and I am forced back to reality, I seek to enter that world again, but under my own circumstances, and through the eyes of the people I fell in love with while I journeyed there. I return to that world again and again, or I bring the people from it into my own.

I use fanfiction as a way to try another author’s style, and so it has made me a better writer, but I also use it as a way to explore deep emotions that the story has unlocked within me. Story-telling is power. Despite what some people think, fanfiction is story-telling. It has not only made me a better writer, it has made me a better person. And I will be forever grateful to the writers who came before me for the gift that they have given me.

Uncategorized

Breath of the Wild Excitement Peaks!

The newest and probably last trailer for Breath of the Wild has come out, and I have never been more excited. We got a look at some of the characters we’ll be meeting, as well as more of the gorgeous world that I cannot wait to explore. If I can make the money I need, that is! Watch the trailer below before I jump into an analysis.

Did you watch it? Great. Now watch it again and read this while you do. I’m going to have you make a couple of stops so I can comment.

First stop is at 0:24. Do you see the desert? Do you see the thing that looks sort of like Stonehedge? Now look to the left and you’ll notice a cloud of sand. This brings Gerudo Valley to mind, when you have to wander through a sandstorm. Now I believe there are more links (pun intended) to the Gerudo to be found in the trailer , but for now, hit play again. We’ll get to those remarks later.

Stop the video again at 0:58 and look at that floating thing in the distance. An island in the sky? Folks, we might be returning to Skyloft, or at the very least, to the Oocoo City in the Sky from Twilight Princess. How are we gonna get there? Keep going!

Third stop is 1:01. Link’s hair, though. So gorgeous. I’ll stop now.

Stop for the fourth time as soon as you hear the voice (around 1:17.) Now unpause and listen. It sounds like an elderly woman, and since we already know from past gameplay videos, the Sheikah will feature prominently in this game. Therefore, I have a strong suspicion that might be Impa, especially since she talks about the Royal Family. She’s the one serving them, after all!

Fifth stop is at 1:40. The shape above Hyrule Castle seems like the Phantom Ganon from Ocarina of Time far more than Ganondorf, but look more closely. The way it moves suggests a horse and rider, but the shape it takes at 1:40 resembles a boar’s snout thrust open, with the tongue lolling out. Are we going to get Boar Ganon, rather than Gerudo Ganondorf? Only time will tell.

Stop it quick at 1:52! The monster Link is fighting seems humanoid, almost feminine in fact, and also appears to be wearing a strange mask or headpiece. Are we getting a side villain like Ghirahim or Vaati, or is this just a boss or mini-boss? Curious…

Pause the video at 2:04 and observe the beautiful, enormous town. It looks like it’s thriving but not excessively, so I’m putting my money on this town being Kakariko Village. Also, 2:05 shows a desert community. Remember how I said there were more Gerudo connections?

Stop number eight is at 2:12. Notice the tree. Right before you stop it, you’ll see it is moving, around what would be a mouth. Is it, could it be… the great Deku Tree?

And stop again at 2:27. Zelda is standing waist-deep in a small pond surrounded by stonework. This pond looks almost identical to the shrines in Skyward Sword. It’s hard to tell from the lighting, but it also sort of seems like she’s wearing a white dress, as it’s lighter than the rest of her skin. She’s seen wearing this dress again throughout the trailer. It looks almost like the Goddess Dress from Skyward Sword. Breath of the Wild seems, to me, to tie in with Skyward Sword and Ocarina of Time the most. As SS leads almost directly to OoT, BOTW could fall after OoT on any of the timelines and this would make sense. In Skyward Sword, Zelda had to purify herself by praying at the shrines, and she wore the Goddess Dress so she could reawaken as the goddess Hylia. Maybe the same thing is happening here! Press play again.

2:37, there’s Zelda. She is beautiful. At 2:39, we see another town, only it’s on fire. It looks different from the two we saw so far. I’m 99.9% positive that town is Hyrule Castle Town. Oh look, there’s the castle. I was right, as usual. Listen to her sob about everything she’s done being for nothing. It’s pretty gut-wrenching, actually.

Stop it yet again at 2:45 and observe, once again, the desert landscape. There’s a girl wearing Gerudo-ish clothes, who has dark skin and red hair the way Gerudos tend to. Perhaps a descendent of one of my favorite Zelda ladies, Nabooru? We’ll see her up close later on. Hit play again and prepare for a burst of feels as Zelda topples into Link’s arms. She’s wearing the white dress again.

Okay, now I want you to pause it when you see that girl again, which is I believe at 3:00. They’re about to show a variety of characters of all different Hyrulean races. Watch through all of them, then click back to 2:55 and watch through all of them again. What I am about to suggest is a bit insane, but if I’m right… Count the people. The goron. The giant lady. The Gerudo girl, who is wearing blue lipstick (you go girl.) The zora. The other zora. And the bird man. Then finally Zelda herself. That makes seven. I think that these people are the seven sages. Obviously, none of them look anything like their OoT or Link Between Worlds counterparts, but remember, this is set 100 years ahead of some point we don’t even know yet. They could be descendants, or even reincarnations. So that’s my hypothesis. And something tells me I’m right.

Stop it again at 3:07 just to admire how gorgeous Zelda is. And the fact that she’s flying.

The King of Hyrule tells Link he must save his daughter (it shows Zelda and her father is definitely the king of Hyrule, sooo) and then we see Link collapse in nearly the exact same way as he does in Skyward Sword at one point.

Let it play the rest of the way. You’ll see a very dirty Zelda praying to what is likely the Great Deku Tree, and then you’ll hear the now-iconic voice saying “Open Your Eyes”. Now listen to that voice! Does it sound like the voice we heard for Zelda? A little, but not too much. Could it be someone else? Who else could it be?

 

So that wraps up my deductions. I have a feeling I’m either totally right or totally wrong, so all that remains is to play the game. As I’m still saving up to buy a Wii U, let alone an actual Breath of the Wild copy, please do not give spoilers when it comes out! I’ll be posting more and more the closer we get, as the hype builds. I can’t wait!