Kushiel’s Mercy: week 1

Last book you guys!!! (Well, I don’t know if you guys are planning on reading the other series..) Anyway, yay! Here we go. Chapters 1-10. Questions by Susan.

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I was a wizard for a day

Yesterday, a friend of mine told me that Pottermore was hiring freelance writers. Of course, myself and millions of fans across the world knew we were perfect for this job and flocked to the website to give our CVs and writing samples. But I didn’t want to rush it. I knew this would be my one chance to get my Hogwarts letter, so my application had to be perfect.

I spent the day thinking of creative pitches: the Death Eaters we’ve seen have corrupted the values of their Hogwarts house. For example, it took daring and nerve–traits of Gryffindor–for Peter Pettigrew to go to Voldemort. Or how Draco let his ambition make him jealous and drove him to defeat Harry rather than better himself. How has loyalty, a trait of Hufflepuff, corrupted students? We can be loyal to the wrong people or the wrong things. Perhaps it was a family member of Hepzibah Smith who headed down a dark path to protect a family secret. I also wanted to explore the reciprocal relationship between magic and a subculture. Take Anthony Goldstein. How did being a wizard affect his practice of Judaism? Did he enchant his dreidel to land on gimel when he played with muggle friends? How did being Jewish affect his practice of magic? Does his family have a golem like how other have house elves?

I reworked my writing samples. I had written an essay on how Harry Potter had been used by American courts. Originally, it had been written for a legal audience, so I over-explained Harry Potter references and was light on the law. I had to rewrite it to ease up on the Harry and explain the law better.

I was determined. I was going to get my owl. Of course I thought there was no way I would be picked from the plethora of fans that were sending in their own creativity. But I had to try. I was willing to face rejection from Rowling for the chance of this glory.

Then today, I see on the website where I went to submit my package, nope, it was just one of Rowling’s little jokes. Like when she said lawyers have nothing good to offer the world the day after I took my bar exam. The position (advertised to remain open until September 15) was no longer available. I am Fred or George Weasley, sporting my beard of shame and not even able to enter my name to be considered to compete. But for one glorious day, I was filled with hope and creativity.

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Kushiel’s Justice readalong: week 9

It’s time for the final week of the Kushiel’s Justice readalong. Again, thanks to everyone for participating. This week’s questions are by Susan.

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Kushiel’s Justice readalong: week 8

Hi all. Chapters 57-65. Questions by Allie.

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Kushiel’s Justice readalong: Week 7

Hi everyone! This week it’s chapters 47-56, though I admit, I wasn’t able to stop this week! I loved this week’s portion, but I don’t know why exactly. I mean, wandering around kinda hopelessly didn’t really work in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but it worked here. Questions by Lynn.

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Kushiel’s Justice readalong: week 6

Chapters 38-46. Questions by me. Continue reading

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Kushiel’s Justice readalong: week 5

Chapters 30-37. Shit got real. Questions by Susan.

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Kushiel’s Justice readalong: week 4

Chapters 23-29. Questions by Allie.

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Kushiel’s Justice readalong: week 3

Lots to think about this week. Questions by Lynn. As always, since I read these before, I’m going to be careful in my answers to not give anything away.

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Once Upon a Time X

So apparently there’s been this yearly fairy tale reading and discussing challenge that’s been happening for the past 10 years that I just found now. And I realized that I have a million things to say. The short of it is that we just moved and we found a crap ton of books/games that we haven’t read or played since they were bought. Lots of them would fit this bill. And since I’ve had 9 addresses in the past 10 years, I’ve decided that it’s either time to read/play these suckers or get rid of them (a good friend of mine once said that three moves equals one fire, meaning every time you move you get rid of enough stuff to have 1/3 of a bonfire. Yeah). So, without further ado, I bring you:


Instead of writing about something I read, I’ll tell you about a game I played.


Image from boardgamegeek.com

I don’t even know where I got this game. The box says it was made in West Germany, so that should give me a clue of how long I’ve had it.

So in this game, you’re a wizard who has to find three ingredients to make a magic potion that are hidden in an ever-shifting labyrinth. (And the instructions are just like this. Like a story. Not like “player’s goal is to collect tokens on the game board.” With each turn, a player–excuse me, a wizard–changes the maze by sliding the tiles that make up the labyrinth.


Image from boardgamegeek.com

The picture kind of shows how the tiles are laid down to form the labyrinth. You slide the tiles by moving an entire row.

My kid and I enjoyed this game, but it can take a long time to play. During game play, the ingredients tokens are upside down, so you don’t know what you’re landing on. Which means it’s hard to find what you want. It was getting late and my husband suggested we flip the pieces over (like as pictured) to make the game go faster. My kid then accused of us cheating and cried.

So, good for family game night. If you have a long night or have a kid who doesn’t mind tweaking the rules. I think it’s good for memory, strategy, and math. It’s definitely one we’re keeping through our next move rather than getting rid of!

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