Day 343: A Badger Goes to Battle

Image result for hufflepuff crestThis blog was never meant to be about national current events or political commentary it was never meant to have a specific focus or niche even though I have never made any secret of my disability or anything else. Then the 2016 election happened. Bernie Sanders happened. The North Dakota pipeline and the protest at the Standing Rock Sioux Indian reservation are still happening. President-elect Donald Trump is actually happening unless the electoral college refuses to back the popular vote, something which they haven’t done in years. In spite of being good at public speaking, I never wanted to be the person behind the podium or on the stump saying, “hey, listen to me!”The thing about drawing attention to yourself is that if you make enough noise people actually look. They pay attention to the words coming out of your mouth, every single one and suddenly every little misstep you make, no matter how little, is noticed. The margin for allowable human error becomes seemingly minuscule. 2000 military veterans showed up at Standing Rock Reservation to be a human shield for the pipeline protesters.. Pick on someone your own size big oil. I have never sought to be a revolutionary,  a rabble rouser. Time doesn’t fix what is broken, intent, courage, and actions fix things. If the pen is truly mightier than the sword, do not come into my community seeking to squelch it  with hate and greed and expect me to say nothing because the world is my community, humanity is my business and you have just made a very big mistake.’

Author’s Note:
Yes, I am a Harry Potter fan. Yes, I am a Bernie supporter. No,I do not think Donald Trump should be allowed to be the POTUS and oil companies should stay the hell off tribal lands. I apologize for nothing.


Day 318: In Which I Realize Just How Lucky I Am or The School That Harry Built

For all the problems with America I am lucky, I am lucky that I live in a country where community based services were there to help my parents when I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 1 year old.  Children and young people with disabilities  in less developed countries aren’t so lucky. Today I learned a disturbing statistic 80%  of children in orphanages aren’t orphans. They are there because their parents or family feel ill equipped to take care of them. Not surprisingly alot of those children are disabled.

What did J.K Rowling do after creating Harry Potter and his Wizarding World and putting her name into the world’s pop culture history? She created a non profit Lumos a organization committed to finding solutions to the problems children and famlies face. Solutions that don’t involve orphanages. From the Lumos website

Across the globe 8 million children are living in institutions that deny them individual love and care. More than 80% are not orphans. They are separated from their families because they are poor, disabled or from an ethnic minority. As a result, many suffer lifelong physical and emotional harm.

Last year Lumos built the building that will house a school for disabled childrebn Maldova.. This year they are raising money for special desks, eating utensils, walkers, wheelchairs, handrails in the bathroom even a hydrotherapy pool.So if you know me, for my Christmas gift help the school that Harry and the Weasleys and the  entire  Wizarding World built because education and family are the real magic and every child deserves  to have both. Below is a link to the indiegogo campaighn where you can donate. They have met their goal but trust me that stuff isn’t cheap amd they will use every bit of overflow.


Day 307: Walk the Blades of Truth Ch 2 , A Fiction Friday post

Disclaimer: Harry and his world aren’t mine, Pheya and I just visit.

Professor Lupin visits Pheya and her parents to explain about Magic and Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Chapter 2: The Musings of an Unlikely Goddess

She who lays the Blades for those who Walk is often she who is least
expected. She too must walk the Blades before the test is through.

Pheya Stuart looked at the visitor speculatively. The representative the school had sent was polite and friendly, if a little careworn and frayed feeling. He had introduced himself as Remus Lupin, she had thought that was an odd name, but then Hephaeta wasn’t exactly a normal name either. Chalk that one up to her father’s obsession with Greek mythology and artifacts. This is the kind of name you get stuck with if your dad was an archeologist. At least if she’d been a boy her name could’ve been Ansel, her mother’s name of choice because she was a photographer.
Her attention and her vision snapped into focus at the word epilepsy… “The school thought it might help if they sent someone who had similar difficulties. I have epilepsy, you see.” That explained a lot, like why the school would send its History of Magic Professor, (somewhere in the conversation it had been mentioned that the previous Professor had retired to enjoy his, did he actually say after life?) instead of the Deputy Head or somebody like that. She still wasn’t convinced, though. How a girl who is so obviously Muggle born, (she was shocked at how easily those words sprang to mind) could ever fit in, I don’t know. Her parents were smiling broadly, though, so she did her best to mask her misgivings.
The momentary flash of indecision and uncertainty was, however, very apparent to Remus, who’d spent a great deal of his life reading between the lines of body language and expressions for signs of fear or mistrust, and worst of all, any hint that they knew the reason for his monthly illnesses. After tea, while her parents were putting away the dishes, Remus asked, “Pheya, do you like chocolate?” Pheya blinked. Exactly how had that topic come up? At her slightly hesitant nod he said, “So do I. If your parents agree, I could come back tomorrow and take you to a wonderful place I know for ice cream.” Her smile widened a little a little as Remus left to consult with her parents. When he returned and told her to be ready at two o’clock the next afternoon, the smile she gave him could have eclipsed the sun. As Remus left the house that day, he knew how a father must feel. He would give anything to see her smile like that at him.
Pheya stared at the closed door for a long time. Magic was real. There was a school that taught you how to use things like wands and crystal balls. She had always known that these things really existed, but until now, had no proof. As if that wasn’t enough she’d been accepted into this wonderful place. She really was special, and not just in the way people would say when they were lamely trying to be friendly or make her feel better. She clutched at this single ray of truth. But, the little voice inside her whispered, what if they don’t like you? She quickly squashed the thought. The residue of unease it left in its wake wasn’t as easily ignored.

Day 305: Walk the Blades of Truth Chapter 1 a Fiction Friday post

Hephaeta Stewart is coming to Hogwarts. But she is no ordinary student. Born with Cerebral Palsy which necessitates the use of a wheelchair, she is still quite powerful in magic. Remus Lupin is designated as her guide to Hogwarts. Sirius Black is given a unique opportunity to be her guardian and helper so he doesn’t have to spend his time locked up at Grimmauld Place. Alternate POV and AU of Harry’s fifth year.

Disclaimer: The world of Harry Potter is not mine, I just play in it.

Dumbledore as portrayed by the late Richard Ha...
Dumbledore as portrayed by the late Richard Harris in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter 1: A Very Different Staff Meeting

Walk the Blades of Truth with care, for the slightest missed step can bring peril. The lucky few escape unscathed, but none who Walk remain unchanged.

Dumbledore poured three cups of tea as he waited for Professor McGonagall and Remus Lupin to arrive. Albus twirled his fingers in thought. These past few years seemed to have brought more twists and turns than all his years of teaching and the service as Headmaster combined. He smiled wryly at the sudden thought that the years when James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew were in school ran a close second. It seemed, yet again, that they would have a most unusual student in their midst. At that moment the door of his office opened.

A man who appeared to be both young and old at once came through and held the door for the woman who came in after him.

“Thank you very much, Remus,” said Minerva McGonagall as she sat down in a squashy armchair. Remus inclined his head to her and sat on her other side.

“Ah, just in time,” said Dumbledore as he handed them cups. At their looks of polite question he continued, “It has come to my attention that we will very shortly have another student who requires special accommodations.” Dumbledore caught the fleeting look of pain, sadness, and questioning on the younger man’s face and smiled reassuringly at him. “No, Remus, she is not another werewolf.” Remus relaxed visibly in his chair.

“She is, however, very different from any student we have ever had,” he said. “Hephaeta Stuart is a Muggle-born child with Cerebral Palsy, a condition caused by lack of oxygen to the brain which makes it hard for the person to control their body.”

Remus winced; he knew how frustrating it was not to be able to control your own body. “The extent to which a person is effected and the areas afflicted are different for each person; in Miss Stuart’s case she cannot walk and must push herself in a wheelchair, in all other respects I understand she is perfectly normal.”

As he paused for breath Minerva asked, “Albus, how do you expect her to get around the castle? Surely with all the stairs…” she began.

“I have already obtained permission from the Ministry to have a Self Activating Levitation Charm put on her chair which will allow her to navigate quite easily. Remus, I have another favor to ask of you I’m afraid.” Remus raised an eyebrow questioningly. “Since the parents are Muggles, they will need this all explained in a way that they will understand. You possess an aptitude for diplomacy I have rarely seen in any, Muggle or Wizard. Due to your own difference and the difficulties you have faced you are by far the most qualified person to assuage any fears or concerns that Miss Stuart or her parents might have concerning her attendance.”

Remus nodded. Different. That was a very diplomatic way of putting things. Freakish is what he would have said when he was younger; pathetic is what he thought now. He understood why Dumbledore had asked him– an adult who had  been in a similar situation often understood the fears of a child, having experienced them first hand. But what was he going to tell them? I couldn’t very well tell the girl and her parents I’m a werewolf. That wouldn’t go over very well at all.

Professor McGonagall (he would never get used to calling her Minerva) saw his perplexed look. “Tell them that you are epileptic,” she said, it is a Muggle disorder which can cause a person to lose bodily control at random moments.”

“Ah.” He remembered now.When he was about eight his family’s closest neighbor, a man who lived about a mile away had had to take  pills for epilepsy These had reduced the attacks to about one or two every month. The Muggles would understand that. The meeting continued for another thirty minutes longer and when Remus left the office he had the distinct impression that the upcoming school year was going to very interesting indeed.
Author’s note: as per Harry Potter canon Remus is half blood, the fact that his mother is a Muggle makes it probable that he would have a better understanding of the non-magic world than most wizards. Just for fun, in place of the chapter illustrations which were present in the American editions of the series I’m going to use stills of the principal characters of the chapter found using the free image search.

Day 300: Fiction Friday… It’s coming

filedesc (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So my family has been after me to keep the dust off my writing. Well since I recently got a decent headset again I can do this. (For clarification sake as to why a headset has anything to do with typing, I use Dragon speech recognition software to type anything of substance and length since manual typing is tedious for me and eventually painful) I have decided to use Friday’s to finish writing and post excerpts from a Harry Potter fan fiction that I have been writing on and off since Order of the Phoenix came out. I’m sure this will annoy at least some people in my family because it’s not my own original work which they have been pestering me to finish since the 12th grade but I figured that writing of any sort is better than no writing at all and it will pull my writing skills back up to snuff anyway.

I would try my best to post full chapters. I encourage people to leave comments pointing out proofreading errors I might have missed which I will of course go back and fix. A lot of the reason I’m asking for this extra help is that Dragon sometimes miss hears what I said and sticks a word or phrase that does not belong in the sentence and I won’t even see it until someone else points it out because I’m sure that I spoke clearly enough when obviously I have not.Will you read along?

Day 299: Proud Badger, in Defense of Hufflepuffs Everywhere

English: Alternate coat of arms of Hogwarts sc...
English: Alternate coat of arms of Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry from Harry Potter book series, by J.K Rowling, with added shading effects. For a reference i used a drawing found on the internet, probably an illustration from one of the books. The motto translates to “never tickle a sleeping dragon” vector drawing,.SVG format. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am an unapologetic Harry Potter fan. I have been to every midnight book release since the third book (because I was introduced to the series right as Chamber of Secrets came out in hardback I missed the first two). I cried when Cedric became the first magical victim of the second war, bonus points to anybody who remembers who the first Muggle victim was. I threw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix across the room at three in the morning when Sirius died and had even worse reaction to Remus Lupin’s death. I had taken enough sorting hat quizzes made by fans to begin to suspect that they were skewed to put you in either Gryffindor or Slytherin house. When I found the site the author created as a supplement and companion to the series I was quite happy to find myself sorted into Hufflepuff house. We Hufflepuff are terribly overlooked because we do not make waves unless and until something we love is threatened. Badgers cornered in the wild are not to be trifled with. There is a reason the Goblet of Fire chose Cedric for Hogwarts champion. Tonks, seriously kick ass witch who marries Remus in spite of his lycanthropy? Hufflepuff. Teddy Lupin, Hogwarts Head Boy 2015? Hufflepuff. The last bit about Teddy is not just wishful thinking on my part, read the attached article.

Day 209: The Perfect Bookstore

If you had to get locked in some place (book store, amusement park, etc) overnight alone, where would you choose to be locked in?

Novels in a Polish bookstore
Novels in a Polish bookstore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I could pick a place to be locked into overnight it would probably be a bookstore.This bookstore would be special. It would always have at least one copy left of any book I wanted to read, even the out of print titles. The shelves would low enough so that I could reach all the books easily from my chair, even the top shelves.

The bookstore would have an entire floor devoted to each genre and an elevator instead of stairs to go between them. There would be an endless supply of hot chocolate or warm tea to drink. While browsing the bookstore I would constantly find coupons which be discovered in the morning to add up to the exact amount needed to pay for all the books I would want to take home. Once the books would never get lost, I would never lose my place, and the pages would refuse to dog ear no matter how many tines I read them.

I know books and bookstores like that don’t exist but I can continue to dream. As a friend of mine says,”I reject your reality and substitute my own.” Who knows, maybe someday someone will design a store like that. Hopefully it is not as crooked as the picture in my which sort of resembles the description of Ron’s house from the second Harry Potter book.

Day 128: The Kindle Question

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...
Cover via Amazon

I have a Kindle. I have actually had this nifty little device for over a year and I’m just now getting around to saying something about it on this blog. If you for some reason feel out of the loop, you are not the only one. I had it for several months before my sister knew. I have a 3rd generation Kindle,what Amazon is now calling a Kindle Keyboard. I have not gotten to “play with” either a Kindle Touch or Fire. Both look awesome at a glance but I would have to spend a little time with either if I were considering upgrading to see if the touchscreen technology was “cerebral palsy user friendly.” I can manage an Ipad easily enough but I’ve come to the conclusion that those things are best evaluated on a case by case basis.

Someone suggested that owning a Kindle (or any other e-reader for that matter) can contribute to laziness. Say for example you decide you want to read Mary Stewart‘s Merlin Trilogy. You then go hunting through the Kindle bookstore only to discover it doesn’t exist there. So rather than go to the local library or brick and mortar bookstore you don’t read it. In case anybody’s interested the Kindle bookstore doesn’t have the Merlin Trilogy or National Velvet yet, I have looked for both to no avail. I would like to be able to refute the charge of laziness but that is easier said than done. I have discovered that many times, unless the book already has a special place in my heart (like Merlin, National Velvet, and Harry Potter do) I won’t go looking for the paper and glue versions. Does that make me a snob? I can’t get to a “proper” bookstore as easily as others can so I prefer to think of the Kindle as a way to prioritize my reading  list. In other words I have to really like the book before I go hunting for the paper version if there isn’t a digital one.

Day 90: Story… Who are we to judge?

Image by Sidereal via Flickr

I will be the first to admit that Stephen King is a talented writer even though I do not care for several things that he’s done, mostly because I’m a chicken and they scare me. I do like The Green Mile very much though I actually wrote a post should you care to read it.That being said I lost a little bit of respect for Mr. King when I read a comment that he made about the Twilight series in which he basically espoused the opinion that Stephanie Meyer, the author, wrote fluff. I like the Twilight books, it was possibly the first series my sister and I agreed on and was also probably one of the few she finished before me, a fact which she is proud of as seen by the epitaph written on the gift tag of my copies of the second and third book which I received a few Christmases ago, “finally a series I finished before you.”


It greatly disturbs me that one writer can so callously dismiss the work of another. Mr. King’s comment (which can be found in its entirety over at my friend’s blog Maggie Madly Writing in her Defense of Twilight post) compared the Twilight series to Harry Potter and cast Twilight in a distinctly unfavorable light.  I believe that was unfair, the stories the respective authors tell in both book series are completely different, comparing the two is comparing apples to oranges. I don’t know what kind of problem Stephen King has with Stephanie Meyer but I think you should just get over Stephen. I am sure she put as much effort into getting those books published as you have any of yours, if you can’t respect the writing respect the elbow grease.

If you could be part of any fictional universe, what would it be? And why? (For example Star Wars, Mad Men, Hamlet, etc.)

Prompt taken from The Daily Post here at Word press.

I’m pretty sure even someone who knows me only as a casual acquaintance will think they know the answer to the above question, Harry Potter of course. Those people will probably be at least a little surprised to discover that it isn’t the answer at all.  I love J.K Rowling‘s world a lot,  so much so that my sister and I are planning to go to the Harry Potter theme park next year . However the fictional place I’d like to visit most is the small New England town of Haven. By the standards of that town I’m normal in spite of the wheelchair and accompanying canine. The only “troubles” I’ve ever had are those caused by run of the mill brain damage. It would be nice to be normal somewhere.