Saturday, June 28, 2014

Set Me Free (Doctor Who fanfiction): Chapter 4

Chapters: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

"There's no way to make this sound normal, so I'll just flat out say it... The groom (well, the man who would have married her if she hadn't disappeared in the middle of the wedding) had been bribed by a Racnoss (a spider-like alien) to secretly slip her huon particles so that the Racnoss could get its children (who would go on to consume the Earth if released) back, but the huon particles are extremely dangerous, so by giving her the huon particles, the groom was also willing to kill Donna, and in fact the only reason he married her was to shut her up and continue to be able to slip her the huon particles, and then he was killed by the Racnoss and Donna survived, and then I killed the Racnoss and its children." He gasped for breath, and I wasn't sure which to be more surprised by: his story or his lung capacity. I stared at him in silence for a while. "You don't believe me, do you?"
"I don't know... It's just a lot to take in." He nodded, and we kept walking. It felt like we had been walking for days, but I knew it couldn't have been that long. 

"So what happened after the whole wedding incident?" I finally asked. He looked up. 
"So you believe me now?"
"I'm still not sure, but I'm willing to believe that something went wrong at Donna's wedding and that at some point, the two of you became friends." The Doctor nodded and resumed his story. 
"After she told me off for killing the Racnoss, I took her back to her house. I asked if she'd like to come travel with me, but she told me she couldn't live a life like mine."
"Well, your life does sound a bit... dangerous."
"You have no idea," he said with a joking tone of voice but a serious expression. 
"What happened to Donna? You said she didn't want to come with you, but you also said that the two of you became friends."
"Well, I left, and then I met Martha, who traveled with me for a while."
'How many companions has this guy had?' I wondered, but at this point I decided it was better not to ask. Instead I asked, "What happened to her?"
"She left me for two reasons. The first reason was that she had seen the Earth almost destroyed, so she wanted to be there for her family and friends and everybody else. She went on to become a doctor, you know. The second reason was that she loved me and I didn't love her back. I mean, I cared about her and all, but not like that. So, she left."

"And then you called Donna and asked her to come back?"
"Actually, no. She found me. She'd changed her mind about traveling with me, so she started investigating the sort of things she expected me to be investigating. It worked."
"What happened?"
"I'd love to tell you the whole story, but we don't really have time." He thought for a moment. "I've already given a lot of details, and all the while, Donna is in danger." He started speaking faster now. "After we defeated the aliens, she came with me. As a friend," he said, looking pointedly at me as if to try to convince me. "We traveled together and had lots of fun, and then..."
"And then?" I asked, irritated that the Doctor wouldn't finish his sentence. 

"Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey. Sorry, that's not a proper explanation." He took a deep breath. "I got shot by a Dalek and I was about to regenerate, but I didn't want to go, so I sent the extra energy into my severed hand that I had which had been chopped off after my previous regeneration, and then Donna touched the hand, so the hand turned into a person that was part me, part Donna (that process is called metacrisis), and then Donna got shot by a Dalek, and that woke up the part of me that had gone into her during the metacrisis, so she became the Doctor-Donna, part Time Lord, part human, except that a Time Lord mind can't stay in a human body, so I had to remove all memories of me from her mind and now I can never see her again." I had understood almost none of what the Doctor had said. I was about to ask all the questions running through my head, but when I looked up at him, I changed my mind. Tears were streaming down his face.

The Doctor was an enigma. The more I knew about him, the more questions I had. The more he talked about his friends, the more lonely he seemed. The more he revealed his tales of fighting aliens and traveling around the universe, the more human he seemed. The more he talked about the danger he had gotten himself and his friends into, the more I realized how many people he had saved. And the strangest part was this: the more it seemed like his life was dangerous, the more it seemed like fun and the more I wanted to join him.
“What do you need me to do?”

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fandom School (8th period): Fangirl language

Fandom School is back, and this time we're going to talk about the language of fangirls. Just to be clear, let's define the term "fangirl".

According to, a fangirl is "an obsessive female fan, especially of something technological or from popular culture". A fanboy is the same thing, except male. These words do have different connotations: fangirls tend to be more obsessive, and fanboys tend to be more defensive. (Fangirls and fanboys often get a bad reputation as being too obsessive or mean, but not all of them are like this. I like to consider myself an exception to the rule.) Fangirls and fanboys may both use the other terms I'll define here, but fans (a fan is defined as "an enthusiastic devotee, follower, or admirer of a sport, pastime, or celebrity") typically have their own fandom-specific terms.

Here are a few terms related to fandoms and fangirls that I have already defined in my blog:
Canon: the accepted storyline (see here)
Fandom: a collection of fans (see this post defining the term and this post about fandoms uniting)
Fanfiction: stories set in the world of and/or using the characters in the fandom(s) they are written for. Click here or here to see my fanfiction.
Feels: short for "feelings", typically the sort of feelings that will make a fangirl or fanboy cry. (See this post about feels)
Ships: romantic pairings of fictional characters (see here)
A whole list of terms Whovians (Doctor Who fans) use.

Here are some abbreviations that are often used:
AU: fanfiction term, short for "alternate universe". An AU describes a story that is not canon. For example, an AU in which the Tenth Doctor didn't regenerate before series 5.
OTP: stands for "one true pairing". An OTP is a fangirl/fanboy's ultimate ship. Do not insult anyone's OTP. Ever.

There are lots more terms that I could try to define here, but I don't know everything, nor is there room to list everything. If you want to find out more, you can check out this post (not my post), which defines terms used on tumblr, many of which are fangirl/fanboy terms.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Review: The Adventure of The Dying Detective

As you may have guessed from the title, this book for #reviewsdaytuesday is one of the original Sherlock Holmes books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Well technically, it's a short story, but close enough. (If you're wondering why I didn't start with the first Sherlock Holmes book, A Study in Scarlet, it's because it's such an awesome novel that I'd need to spend more time on a book review to do it justice. And I picked this particular short story because I've read it recently and I like it.)

As this is not the first story, here's a brief summary of the Sherlock Holmes books.
For non-Sherlockians: Sherlock Holmes is a consulting detective, a genius who helps the police solve crimes. Dr. John Watson is an ex-army doctor who now writes books. They share a flat at 221B (at least at the beginning of the books) and solve crimes together.
For BBC Sherlock fans: The books are very similar to the TV series, except that they are set in the late 1800s/early 1900s. John writes books, not a blog. and John and Sherlock are older (possibly. See this forum discussion about their ages.) I should also point out that while Johnlock isn't canon in TV series (depending on how you interpret it), it's even more not canon in the books. John and Sherlock have a close platonic relationship, and they are not romantically involved.

Spoiler-free introduction: this story is set later in the series, and Sherlock is much older now. When Sherlock contracts a rare and difficult-to-cure disease, John wants to help him (he is a doctor, after all), but Sherlock refuses.

Okay, this is a mystery story, so there are major spoilers ahead. Read on only if you've read the story.

It sounds a bit like fanfiction, doesn't it? But this is actually a story Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote. It's a great example of the way John Watson has come to really care about Sherlock over the time of their cases together. John's concern for Sherlock's well-being is clear and real, and he wants to do anything he can to help. When John goes to fetch Mr. Culverton Smith, it shows how much he trusts Sherlock's judgement. Rather than insist on having things his own way and tending to Sherlock himself (or getting other doctors who he knows are skilled), John chooses to listen to Sherlock and take his advice.

Of course, there's also Sherlock's side of the story. Sherlock comes up with a brilliant plan to foil Culverton. Sherlock often discovers and stops the schemes of criminals, and in this case, Sherlock develops a counter-scheme. Sherlock makes it appear that Culverton's plan has succeeded and gets Culverton to come over and gloat. If it hadn't been for Sherlock's plan, Culverton might have won, as somebody was bound to accidentally touch the box eventually. But by convincing Culverton that he was actually dying, Sherlock stopped that from happening.

What starts out as a very serious story changes to a humorous one as the reader realizes what Sherlock is up to. The whole thing would never have happened had it not been for Sherlock's great plan, John's compliance, and Culverton's gullibility.

I really enjoyed this story, and it's a great one to read if you're already familiar with the original books or BBC Sherlock. Even if you don't know the Sherlock stories that well, it's still fun to read.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Set Me Free (Doctor Who fanfiction): Chapter 3

Chapters: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

"What, before we were attacked by that Dalek and you saved my life?" I thought for a moment. "Oh, I never actually told you my name! I'm Catherine." We shook hands.
"You know, most people introduce themselves before almost dying."
"Well then, I'm not most people." I looked at the Doctor, this man who asked random strangers for help, then saved them with strange futuristic technology. "And I don't think you are, either."
"What do you mean?"
"I think there's more to you than meets the eye." The Doctor said nothing, he merely smiled. "So, you were telling me about Donna?" The Doctor nodded, and I could have sworn I saw tears in his eyes, but they were gone an instant later.
"So, as I said, she ended up in my TARDIS on her wedding day. Right in the middle of her wedding, she got transported to my TARDIS. As you can guess, she was not happy. She blamed me, of course. It wasn't my fault. I was still getting over Rose."
"Rose? You mean you've had other companions? Were they all women? Now I'm really beginning to think I should be worried." I looked at his face, and saw the tears streaming down. "Never mind. I shouldn't have said that."
"No, it's my fault. I shouldn't have mentioned Rose." He stared off into the distance. We walked in silence for a while.
"So, um... you said you're the Doctor, right?" He nodded, not really paying attention.
"So then, Doctor, tell me about Donna." He thought for a moment and looked at me. "She was just as distrustful of me when she first met as you were when you met me. Well, no, she was probably more distrustful than you were. And she was a lot more bold about her distrust. She slapped me! Twice! In one day!" He rubbed his face as if it still hurt. "Mind you, it's not the first time I've been slapped. That honor goes to Jackie Tyler, Rose's mum..." I was tempted to slap him myself to make him snap out of it, but I'd never slapped anyone before in my life and I decided now was not the time to start.
"You were telling me about Donna. You said you needed me to help her, remember?"
"And then I got distracted. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry."
"Don't apologize, just tell me about Donna so I can help her."
"Right." The Doctor blinked back the tears that had begun forming when he mentioned Rose the second time. "So, after she finished berating me, I tried to get her back to her wedding, but she had been gone too long, and they had started the reception without her, which made her pretty mad, but she didn't have too much time to worry about that because..."
"What?" I glared at him. "You better not be stopping the story there!"
"No, no, sorry. It's just that... this is the part where the story starts getting, well... harder to believe."
"Try me," I told him, crossing my arms. I was NOT going to let him end the story like that.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Set Me Free (Doctor Who fanfiction): Chapter 2

This is chapter 2 of my story in which I meet the Doctor.

Chapters: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

The man's (the Doctor's) reaction was immediate. His face filled with anger and fear, and he pulled out something that looked like a pen with a blue light on the end. A strange metal creature (if this were a science fiction story, I would say it was some sort of droid) came into view and turned what I assumed was its eyestalk to face me. 
"You are right not to trust him," it said haltingly in a harsh, metallic voice. Then it turned to face the Doctor. "Is this your new companion, Doctor?"
"Companion?" I turned to the Doctor. "Companion?!"
"It does not matter," the droid said. "She will be EXTERMINATED!"
"No," the Doctor said.
"EXTERMINATE!" The Doctor grabbed my hand and pulled me away, and the droid's shot barely missed me, hitting the road and creating a giant pothole (thankfully, nobody had been close enough to get hurt). The Doctor pulled out something that looked kind of like a bracelet, but had all sorts of buttons and controls on it. He aimed the pen-flashlight thing at the bracelet thing and pressed the button on the pen, which made a strange buzzing noise, and then he tossed the bracelet onto the droid's eyestalk. Finally, he used the pen on the bracelet again, and the creature disappeared. 

"Where'd you get that?"
"My sonic screwdriver?" he asked, holding up the thing that looked like a pen. "I've had it for a long time."
"So that's what that is! But I was asking about the um... bracelet thing."
"Oh, you must mean the vortex manipulator. I got it from an old friend. A very old friend, actually."
"What does it do?"
He thought for a moment. "What is it, the 21st century? I know you don't have any, but I assume you're familiar with the concept of a teleportation device?" I nodded.
"It's a teleportation device? So where did you send the..."
"Dalek. I sent it to the void. So basically, I killed it."
"You killed it?!"
"It nearly killed you first. Daleks show no mercy. Any other questions?"
"How do you get coordinates for 'the void'? And what is the void, anyway?"
"Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey." He used his sonic screwdriver again, doing what seemed to be some sort of scan. "Looks like that Dalek was the only one. Now then," he said, then walking on as if this was a typical day for him, "where were we?"

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Set Me Free (Doctor Who fanfiction): Chapter 1

This was inspired by a tumblr post:
which then became a prompt for a fanfiction contest at The Star Cult.

Chapters: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

I walked down the street, listening to the mundane noises of everyday life. I was sick of this boring stuff. I pulled out my iPod and hit "shuffle". The first song was "The Christmas Song". It was June. I skipped the song, and my iPod started playing "Set Me Free". Much better. 

I looked up. I saw a man wearing a trench coat and converse. He was looking straight at me. His eyes looked old, sad, lonely- and also kind. He walked over and gently grabbed my arm, turning me so that I was walking alongside him. I took my earbuds out, too shocked to do anything else. 

"Hello," he said. "Just keep walking; don't look alarmed. I'm the Doctor, and I need your help." I followed his instructions and kept walking, somewhat uneasily. 
"What do you want? I don't have any medical experience." I thought for a moment. "I hope it's not... well you're a strange man, and I'm a young woman..."
"No, no, no, no, nothing like that. I just..." he paused. All of a sudden, he got a faraway look in his eyes, as if remembering. He looked like the saddest and loneliest man in the universe, and in that moment, I couldn't help but pity him. 

"What do you need me to do?"
"It's not safe to talk here. We need to go to the TARDIS." I shifted uncomfortably. 
"You're a strange man, you grabbed my arm and said you needed my help, and now you're asking me to come with you to this 'TARDIS', which for all I know could be your..." I tried to think of a polite word- "snog box. Should I be worried?" I sighed. "I'm sorry, it's just..." He nodded as if he understood my unspoken sentence. 
"We can keep walking through the crowds, but don't talk too loudly. I can tell you what's going on, and then you can decide if you trust me. Does that sound fair to you?" I nodded. We kept walking. 

"I need you to help my friend."
"What's her name? And why can't you help her yourself?"
"Donna Noble. And... It's complicated." I stared him straight in the eyes, waiting for an answer. "Very complicated." I kept staring at him. "Well..." I glared at him. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you." I raised an eyebrow. He sighed. "Fine, you asked for it."
"I didn't say anything!" He rolled his eyes. 
"She was my friend, though we didn't exactly meet under the best of circumstances."
"How so?"
"Well, she accidentally ended up in my TARDIS. On her wedding day."
"I knew I shouldn't trust you!"
"Please don't shout. Someone could hear us."
"EXTERMINATE!" Apparently, someone had. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Endings And Beginnings

School is out! Yay!
I know most of you who are school-age have probably got out of school already, but I just got out today and I'm glad it's summer (it's not that I don't like school, it's just that I like the freedom to spend my time however I like).

The school year is over. In addition to making me happy, the end of the year has kind of put me in a philosophical mood. Over at Pond's Philosophers Guild (a Google+) community, I've shared my philosophical posts with the hashtag #Catherinecontemplations. However, I've got an idea that is related to fandoms, so I'm going to post it here. And for philosophy stuff about/related to/taken from fandoms, I will make up a new hashtag: #fandomphilosophy.

The time for sitting in class and doing what the teacher says is over, and the time for relaxing, catching up on all the things you never had time to do during the school year, and having fun has begun. It's the end of one thing, and the beginning of another.

When you think about it, it's the same way in a fandom. You finish a season of a show (or a movie or book in a series), and then you're happy that you've seen all of it, but also sad that it's over. Then you remember the cliffhanger at the end of the season finale (or see the trailers for the next movie, etc.), and you watch/read the next season/movie/book (or wait for it to come out). The end of one thing is the beginning of another.

Now I know what you're thinking: what if the show is canceled? What if there are no more books in the series? What if the producers of the movie actually decided not to make a sequel? Yes, that does mean the end. It's a more permanent destination. But it's still a beginning, too, just a different beginning.

Think about it. Don't you hate ?
When you finish a series (or a show, or whatever it is), there are no more spoilers. It's the beginning of participating in fandom conversations without worrying that somebody will ruin the ending for you.
This is what your friends are like when they accidentally reveal a major spoiler to you.
It's also the beginning of going back and finding all the things you missed the first time. For example, rewatching lotr and just focusing on Legolas (I haven't done this yet, but I intend to do so.)

So before you get upset at what you think is the end, remember that it is also a beginning.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fandom Texts: Narnia Edition

It's Thursday, which means it's time for more fandom texts! This week, the fandom is the Chronicles of Narnia.



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fandom School (7th period): How To Connect With Other Fans

So, if you've been keeping up with my Fandom School posts, you have a pretty good idea of what a fandom is and what are the different parts of a fandom. And if you read my blog, chances are you've joined at least one fandom. So the question is, how do you find others in your fandom(s)? How do you find other fans?

There are a number of different ways to meet other fans and get to know them:

How to meet other fans in real life
  1. Get fandom paraphernalia (isn't "paraphernalia" such a great word?). This includes T-shirts, toys, action figures, backpacks, phone cases, etc. The advantage of these things is that they show the world that you are in a fandom and provide opportunities for other fans to strike up a conversation with you.
  2. Make fandom references. Those who are in your fandom(s) will be delighted and will start talking about them with you. This has the downside that non-fans will just look at you like you're crazy. But then, any fan is a little bit crazy anyway, right? :P
  3. Introduce your current friends to your fandom(s). Then you'll have friends in your fandoms(s)!
How to meet other fans on the internet
  1. If you don't have a social media account, create one. Facebook, tumblr, Google+, whatever. I don't care. If you already have a social media account, you can skip this step.
  2. Update your profile to include a list of your fandoms. This way, people who like the same stuff as you know what they have in common with you.
  3. Join communities/groups for your fandom(s) and regularly post in those communities/comment on the posts in those communities.
  4. Find others who have the same fandoms as you, and follow them. In many cases, they will follow you back.
  5. Make fandom references in your public posts, to show everyone what you are obsessed with.
And that about sums it up. I hope you have a great day and meet lots of new friends in your fandoms, and I also hope that your current friends join your fandoms if they haven't already. I'll see you all again next week for the next fandom school post! Bye!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Book Review- David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

And my post for today is late again. I really need to get back on schedule. Anyway, as it's #reviewsdaytuesday again, it's time for another book review.

Every Christian knows the story of David and Goliath; a little shepherd boy defeated a big, scary giant with just a sling and a stone, showing us that with God's help, an underdog can win. Right? Wrong. Malcom Gladwell explains that David's victory isn't as surprising as it seems because he fought with unconventional methods. The author then goes on to explain how much of what we think of the way the world works and the way to succeed is not necessarily accurate. Sometimes the very things we view as disadvantages can work in our favor, and sometimes the things we consider to be our strengths can be our downfalls. This is a book about seeing the world, and our supposed advantages and disadvantages, differently.

I really enjoy reading thought-provoking books like this. A short, fluffy story is fine, but it's nice to read something that really digs into your brain and changes the way you see the world. This book has challenged me to re-examine many of my thoughts and ideas, and that's definitely a good thing. In this book, one of the ideas Gladwell talks about is the idea of "desirable difficulties", things which most people perceive as disadvantages that can actually be advantageous. For example, he says that people with Dyslexia can compensate in other way, and because of this and also the way that they think differently, they can often go on to become very successful in the world. Another thing Gladwell talks about is that there can be too much of a good thing. Power is no good if there is too much of it. Even too much money can be a disadvantage. 

This book changed my viewpoint forever, and it's changed for the better. It opened my mind and opened up my philosophical side. It also changed my understanding of the story of David and Goliath, making me remember that often books and stories can get misinterpreted and encouraging me to think carefully about how I read and interpret things. I would definitely read another book by this author, and I'd certainly recommend this book to you.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Use The Force (Or The Mind Palace)- Chapter 3

And finally, I have finished writing my post for today. It's 12 hours late. Sorry about that. Anyway, since I've recently become obsessed with Merlin, I figured it was time to let him visit Sherlock's Mind Palace. This has more of Molly than Sherlock, so sorry about that. It's set during season 1 episode 4 of Merlin and season 3 episode 3 of Sherlock.

Chapters: 2 3 4

Merlin drank the chalice, knowing it meant certain doom, and slipped into unconsciousness.
Except that he wasn’t unconscious. Merlin looked around. He was in a plain, empty, white room. There was a man lying on a table and covered with a white sheet. Another man that looked identical to him was standing over the body. The man’s brother, perhaps? The man turned and saw Merlin. “What are you doing here?” the man asked.
“I’m dying. You?”
“I’m dying, too. I’m Sherlock, and Molly here hopefully has a plan to stop me from dying.” 

He pointed to a woman there with her hair up in a tight ponytail. She was wearing a white lab coat. Merlin wasn’t really sure what to do, so he just stood back and let the scene unfold.
"It’s all well and clever having a Mind Palace, but you’ve only three seconds of consciousness left to use it,” she said. Merlin wondered what a Mind Palace was. He suspected it had something to do with magic. Perhaps the poison had made him visit this ‘Mind Palace’? It was all very strange. He kept listening as she continued talking. "So, come on – what’s going to kill you?” 

Sherlock looked down at the man on the table for a moment and then raised his head again. "Blood loss,” he said confidently.
“Exactly,” she replied, as if this was of the utmost importance. Had this man been poisoned, too? Merlin looked at the man on the table. It was the body of Sherlock, the man who was still alive. The body had a small, circular wound. Not poison then. But this Sherlock was apparently still dying. Merlin and Sherlock looked back at Molly.
"So, it’s all about one thing now,” she said. "Forwards, or backwards?” The three of them moved to a room, and again there were two men, identical. Except that the one who wasn’t moving was merely frozen in time. "We need to decide which way you’re going to fall,” Molly continued.

Merlin watched as Molly continued to tell Sherlock what to do. The scene changed many times as she and others coached Sherlock through all the aspects of not dying. Finally, Sherlock was gone, and Merlin was left alone with Molly. “Hi,” he said.
“Um, hello.”
“I’m Merlin.” He thought for a moment. “You sure were helpful to that man.” 
She nodded. “I care about him very much.”
“I know the feeling,” Merlin said, thinking of Arthur. “Not that feelings matter much to me right now. I’m dying, too.”
“What happened?”
“I was poisoned. I can only be cured by this really rare flower that only grows in a cave, and the conditions around the cave are really dangerous. Arthur went to go get the flower to save me.”
“That was very brave of him.”
“Oh, he’s a very brave man. Unlike the coward who poisoned me.” Merlin jumped up in shock and gasped. “Whoever poisoned me knows that the cure can only be found at the cave. They’ll have an ambush planned or something.” He gasped for breath, trying to get his message out as best he could. “Arthur, it… it’s a trap. It’s a trap."

"That's all well and good, but what sort of man is he?" Molly asked, walking towards Merlin. 
"I don't understand. Why does that matter?" Molly just looked at him. "He's a brave and courageous man. He'd run off into danger at a moment's notice."
Merlin thought for a moment. "Oh, I see. Even if Arthur knows it's a strap, he'll still go on. He'll rely on his strength and his 'wits' to save him."
"So you need to come up with a different strategy," Molly told him. Merlin nodded. "Now think. What do you have? What can you use to your advantage?"
"Um, I don't know." Molly looked at him and raised an eyebrow. "Magic! I can use magic."
"Good. Now what can you do with your magic?"
"Well, I need to help Arthur get the flower right?" Merlin said slowly, his mind moving like molasses as the potion kept working its way through his body. 
"Yes. How can you use magic to help him?"
"Where did you say he was going to get the flower?"
"He's in a... cave. Caves are... cold... And dark. He might not... He might need help... to... see." Merlin panted with the effort of speaking for so long. 
"It's all right. Just breathe. Focus on your breathing. You can't go into shock. You need to relax, calm down, and just breathe," Molly told him. She pulled over a chair Merlin hadn't seen earlier, and he sat down for a moment. "Good. Now then, you said he needs help to see? Can you use your magic for that? Make a light, perhaps?"
Merlin nodded. "Fromum feohgiftum on fæder bearme. Fromum feohgiftum," he said. Then he collapsed. Molly pulled a bed over just in time. 

The scene changed. Merlin was back in Gaius's chamber, looking at himself lying in bed. Gaius and Gwen were standing nearby, looking very worried.
"You're dying more quickly than they expected. You can't afford to waste your energy," Molly told him. Merlin nodded. "No, don't even nod. Save your energy. What else can you do?" Merlin began to open his mouth. "No, don't tell me. Just do it." Merlin told Arthur to follow the light and moved the light to show him the way.

Molly looked at Merlin. "Well done."
"Before I go,"
"Don't say that! You need to keep up your strength."
"Before I go, I just want to say, you were fantastic. And do you know what?"
"What?" Molly asked as Merlin gasped for breath. 
"So was I," Merlin said with a smile before slipping back into unconsciousness.

Merlin woke up to see Gaius hugging Gwen as she cried in his arms. "That's disgusting," he said. "You should be ashamed of yourself. You're old enough to be her grandfather."
"Merlin. You're alive," Gaius said with a giant smile on his face. 
"No. I'm the ghost come back to haunt you," Merlin replied. He had made a full recovery, snark included. 
Gwen ran up to Merlin and kissed him. Merlin was pleased and surprised, though he hoped Gwen wasn't actually in love with him- that might be too much to handle.
"Sorry, I'm just... I thought you were dead," Gwen apologized, breaking the spell. If a kiss can be called a spell. It certainly was an enchanting experience for Merlin. 
"It's fine. It's more than fine," Merlin replied. He was back. Merlin was alive, thanks to Arthur, Sherlock, and Molly. He would probably never see the latter two again, but he would never forget them. He smiled, ready to face the world again. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Merlin: Random Acts of Kindness

Hello, friends. In the past few days, I have become obsessed with the BBC show Merlin. The rest of my family watches it a little, but not as much as I do. During episode 7 (The Gates of Avalon), *sort of a spoiler alert but not really* Merlin has to save Arthur *quasi-spoiler over now*. My mom asked me, "Is it always like that?"

"Basically, yeah," I replied. The general format of any given Merlin episode (at least the ones I've seen so far) is this: Arthur Pendragon (the prince of Camelot) gets in mortal danger, and Merlin (Arthur's servant) has to save him. However, Merlin has to use magic to do so, and magic is an offense punishable by death (because King Uther is a jerk), so Merlin can't tell anyone. Oh, and Merlin's typically helped by the physician, Gaius. 

So, for those of you who read the title of this post carefully, you're probably wondering when I'm going to talk about random acts of kindness. And that time is right now. See, when you think about it, Merlin is an incredibly selfless person, and in every episode, he performs what might be called a random act of kindness. Random acts of kindness are things people do to help other people, and these acts are often done without any reward or recognition. Merlin will put his life on the line over and over again to protect Arthur, all the while never getting the credit. Now, I'm not saying you need to be that extreme, but a small act of kindness can go a long way. Helping others provides us with a sense of fulfillment, making us realize that we, like Merlin, have a destiny, whether we know it or not. 

Merlin is also a show about breaking the rules in order to do what is right. Every time Merlin uses magic, he is breaking one of the most important laws of Camelot. And yet, he's doing it for the good of others. Harry Potter, too, is an example of breaking the rules to do good things. Sometimes, we have to be willing to do what might seem wrong, because we know it's actually right. Any small act of kindness you do makes you a better person. And who knows? It just might save a life. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Flirting Games (Doctor Who fanfiction): Chapter 2

I didn't plan to write a second chapter of this story (click here for chapter 1), but people seemed to want it, so here it is. (Moral of the story: if you make a request, follow one of my stories on, etc., I'll do my best to act accordingly.)

Jack finally caught up to River, panting. “You sure are fast!”
“I get it from my parents. They do an awful lot of running.” She flashed a slightly seductive smile.
“And who are your parents?”
“Doesn’t it tell you on that file about me?”
“Oh yeah. Wait… you’re Amy and Rory’s daughter?”
“Yes, what about it?” River put her hands on her hips, as if to say ‘I dare you to insult them’.
“I just find it kinda funny that the Doctor travels with his parents in law.”
“You better be careful. You’re treading dangerous ground, soldier.”
“Oh really?” Jack asked, smirking.
“You’d better watch your step,” she replied with a slight edge in her voice, stepping towards him.
“Make me,” Jack whispered, stepping towards her.
“Maybe I will,” River said, getting even closer.
“So do it then.” River took one more step towards Jack and shoved him to the ground. The look on Jack’s face was priceless. He sat there is shock for a moment.
“You asked for it!” River gave a slightly malicious smile.

“How on Earth did the Doctor marry you?”
“Actually, it was in a parallel universe. Right before I ‘killed’ him,” River said offhandedly. Jack laughed.
“So violent!” Jack exclaimed teasingly. “But really, how did you convince him? You really don’t seem his type.”
“You’d be surprised.”
“Enlighten me.”
“Spoilers,” she answered, smiling.
“Is that your answer to everything?”
“You are impossible,” Jack said, sighing in frustration.
“No, I’m River,” River said with a smirk.
“Oh, shut up.”
“Not a chance.” Jack sighed. “So then, Captain Jack, how about that drink?”
“How dare you?” River slapped him.
“Man, you’re strong! That hurt!” Jack complained, rubbing his face.
“I get it from my dad. He’s got the toughest punch in the universe.” She whispered, “But on the inside, he’s a real softie. Don’t tell him I said that.”
“Of course not, Doctor Song. Say, did you get a doctorate just so you could become a Doctor?”

“Come on, let’s go have that drink. I know a great place not that far from here.”

(Sorry it's so short. I'll write a third chapter soon.)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fandom Texts: Frozen Edition

Say hello to Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Hans, Kristoff, and Sven! Now they all have phones and can text. Enjoy!
Poor Anna... even when she got past autocorrect, she still didn't say what she meant to.

This is why Kristoff shouldn't text.


I just couldn't resist. Do you like the emoji?  Emoticons are cool too :)

If there's a particular fandom you want to see next, let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fandom School (6th period): Roleplaying, aka RPG

Hooray! It's time for Fandom School again! This weeks topic is roleplaying. Simply put, roleplaying (rp for short) is pretending to be someone else and acting out various scenarios (usually virtually) with other people. Depending on where and how you are roleplaying, you may need to create one profile and stick to it, or you may be able to change characters as you please. Roleplaying is a lot of fun, and it's also a great way to get a good feel for a character before writing a story about them.
Those of you who are particularly observant (hello, Sherlock fandom!) may have noticed that I said "RP", but the title says "RPG". RPG stands for Roleplaying Game, and it refers to games where you roleplay, rather that roleplay conversations carried out on social media (e.g., Google+). There's also LARP, which stands for Live-Action Roleplaying. I've never done it before, but it would be cool to do it some time.

There are typically a few rules in roleplaying:
1. Whatever the creator of the game/post/etc. says. They're in charge.
2. Rp might be open (anyone can join) or closed (between a few specified people). See #1
3. OCs (original characters) may or may not be allowed. See #1.
4. Cursing, hate speech, and profanity is typically discouraged.
5. Usually, there's an unspoken rule for length. Some might be short, and some might be long. See #1.
6. As said earlier, check to see how many profiles you can have. See #1.
7. Stay in character. If you need to be OOC (out of character) for a moment, use double parentheses ((like this. I am out of character right now.)) And now I'm back.
8. For actions, use asterisks. Like this: *waves hi*
9. If you have to go for a while, let the people in the rp know. For example: ((Sorry guys, gotta go. I'll be back tomorrow.))
10. Have fun! :)

So here are my different roleplay communities I'm in, and my profiles for each of them.

Doctor Who Roleplay Center
I change my character in this one. I like to play Donna, the Tenth Doctor, and the Eleventh Doctor, but I might play other characters if I'm in the mood.

Google+'s Fandom Family
This is basically a community where we are a family and we rp. It's fun. This is my profile. The short story is: I'm a Japanese girl named Sakura who's the Eleventh Doctor's clone (like Jenny. She's my half-sister.) I've traveled all over the place. I'm a cheerful, inquisitive person who likes to enjoy Earth's beauty. And this is my room.

You. Are. Divergent.
My name is Violet Verity. I was born Erudite, but I transferred to Candor after the Initiation test showed I was Divergent (Erudite and Candor). I'm smart, trustworthy, and dependable. I can tell if you are lying, and I always want to find out the truth. I have a very strong sense of right and wrong. I prefer to stay out of physical conflicts, but if there is no other choice, I will join the side of the person who I believe is right and defend them. I can sometimes get so caught up in finding the truth that I hurt others. I am also quick to condemn others for their wrong words or deeds. I have a cat named Lynn. To read my whole profile, go here.

So there you have it! I hoped you liked this class. Please comment below and let me know what class I should have at Fandom School next. Thanks! Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Book Review: 1984

Yep, it's #reviewsdaytuesday again. This week, the book is 1984 by George Orwell.


In this dystopian novel set in 1984 (hence the title), Winston Smith is a low-ranking member of the Party in London, Oceania. The Party, led by the mysterious Big Brother, controls everything. They control the language so that words about political rebellion don't exist anymore, and they even change history (or at least, the records of it). The Party is always watching everyone through the telescreens, making sure nobody breaks the law. And what is the worst crime? The Newspeak (the language of the Party) word is "thoughtcrime", and it simply means thinking something that is wrong or illegal. Winston starts keeping a diary (it's illegal to even have a diary), and he writes about how he hates that the Party has banned free thought, sex, and individuality of any sort. He meets Julia, who is in love with him, and they start having an affair, in direct defiance of the Party. Eventually, they are noticed by O'Brien, a powerful Party member who Winston suspects is part of the Brotherhood, the secret organization to overthrow the Party.


It turns out that O'Brien is actually a member of the Thought Police; i.e., he is a spy for the Party. He takes Winston and Julia to be tortured. They are taken to the dreaded room 101, where they each have to confront their deepest fear. Winston is so afraid of the rats that he asks O'Brien to send the rats to attack Julia, not him. He has finally snapped, which is what O'Brien wanted all along. Winston is broken, and he returns to the world. He has given up rebelling and come to love Big Brother.


This is a really well-written book, but it's also really disturbing. I really hope our society never becomes like this. I would rather die than live in a place where individuality, creativity, and free thought are illegal. I know security matters, but I don't want to be watched every second. And when I do have sex, I want it to be for pleasure, not as just "my duty to the Party". And I most certainly don't want to have to consciously live in rebellion until I break. While it's not exactly the happiest book, it is thought-provoking, and it's worth reading.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Which Doctor Who Villain Is The Best?

The title says it all. Through the years (about 50 now), we've seen a lot of different Doctor Who villains. But which one is the best? For this post, I'm only going to include villains that have made multiple appearances. In no particular order...

1. The Daleks
Evil machines of death with no emotions or conscience. Their goal is to EXTERMINATE all life-forms that are not Daleks. These monsters have showed up a lot.

2. The Cybermen
Like the Daleks, the Cybermen are emotionless. They are metal men, and their goal is to "upgrade" all of humanity into Cybermen.

3. The Master
Like the Doctor, he is a Time Lord. He escaped the Time War by temporarily becoming a human. He's insane and always hears a pattern of four drumbeats in his head, which he claims call him to war. He's pretty evil.

4. The Silence
Wait, who? These monsters can make you forget them, and they've been meddling with human history for centuries.

5. The Silurians
These look like lizards, but they're actually aliens. While they were originally the Doctor's enemies, the last Silurian, Vastra, teamed up with Jenny (a human) to help the Doctor.

6. The Sontarans
These monsters look like potatoes. Again, the last Sontaran, Strax, changed from being a bad guy to a good guy.

7. The Weeping Angels
Don't blink. Don't even blink. They are fast, faster than you can believe. Don't turn your back on them, don't look away, and don't blink. Good luck.

8. The Autons
They look like just innocent mannequins, but they will kill you without a second thought. They are living plastic, controlled by the Nestene Consciousness. As seen in The Pandorica Opens and The Big Bang, they might think they are human when they really aren't. Rory came back as a Roman centurion, but he was really an auton. Except he was too strong for the Nestene Consciousness.

9. The Zygons
Big red, rubbery things, covered in suckers. Surprisingly good kissers.

10. The Ood
Their appearance may be a little... ood (pun intended), but they're still formidable. As with the Silurians and the Sontarans, eventually they became good. They foresaw the Doctor Donna, the human Time Lord who sadly could not last.

So that's the list. Did I miss any?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Flirting Games (Doctor Who fanfiction): Chapter 1

A short story in which Jack and River Song flirt. This was so fun to write! To read chapter 2, go here.

“Hello, Sweetie,” River Song said with a smile.
“Um… hi,” a man said, slightly surprised that he was being called “sweetie”. “I’m Captain Jack Harkness,” he said, shaking her hand. “Do you call everyone ‘sweetie’, or am I just lucky?” he asked with a smile.
“Sorry, I just… thought you were someone different.”
“No need to sound to so upset,” she said, with a slight smile.
“Right… so what brings you here, anyway?”
“This isn’t where I’m supposed to be. The coordinates must have got messed up. It’s very frustrating.”
“Oh come on, it can’t be that bad!” Jack replied with a smile.
“Are you flirting with me?”
“You do know that I’m married, right?”
“Oh, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind. Somebody’s a very lucky man,” Jack answered with a smirk.
“Didn’t you get it? I’m taken.”
“Whatever. I still think you’re hot.” River sighed in exasperation.

“So, do you come here often?” she asked, deciding to play along.
“It’s the rift in Cardiff. I come here all the time.”
“We’re in Cardiff?”
“Yes, don’t you have a map?”
“Obviously not.”
“Sorry, I just thought someone as smart as you would bring a map.”
“Are you flirting with me again?”
“Again, what are you doing here?”
“Right now? Talking with a beautiful woman.” Jack’s smile kept getting bigger and bigger.
“Oh, shut up! You know what I mean!”
“You know you’re beautiful, don’t deny it.” River sighed. “But anyway…” Jack showed River the vortex manipulator on his wrist. River showed him her identical one. They accidentally touched the two together and sparks flew. “What?”
“Oh, mine must be a future version of yours.”
“You heard me.”
“It’s just sort of… wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey.”
“I only know one person who talks like that.” River smiled and winked.

“But seriously, what are you doing?”
“Well, I was hoping to find the Doctor…” River smiled.
“Ah, yes. He’s so hard to find, isn’t he?”
“So then you do know him. Ha!”
“Know him? Of course I know him! Hasn’t he mentioned me?”
“Well, no…”
“He probably hasn’t met me yet, then. But mark my words: there’s no point in flirting with him. He’s taken.”
“You don’t mean…”
“I do.”
“Better be careful about saying that phrase, you might find yourself married to another handsome man,” Jack replied with a smile, pointing at himself.
“Oh, shut up.”
“Not a chance.”
“No, but seriously, what are you here for?”
“I’m a time agent.”
“The Doctor married an archaeologist? No way!”
“Spoilers,” River replied with a wink. “So who do you have to protect?”
“Spoilers,” Jack replied, which earned him a slap from River. “Okay, okay… I’m here to protect a woman called Melody Pond, also known as River Song…” He looked up.
“Hello!” Jack pulled out his card on River Song.

“Ooh, it looks like you’re wanted for murder. Who did you kill?” He leaned in close and whispered, “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.” 
River leaned even closer and whispered, “Spoilers.” 
Jack leaned in even closer and whispered, “Spoilers were made to be revealed.” River sighed and leaned in so close that their lips accidentally touched.
“Sorry.” She quickly backed away, then whispered into his ear, “I killed the Doctor.”
“Not so loud!”
“Sorry. But seriously, what happened?”
“I was stolen from my parents at birth and engineered as a psychopath trained to kill him. I tried, then I saved him, then I killed him, then I didn’t, then time went wrong, and then I “killed” him, but he survived. It’s complicated.”
“You’re telling me!”
“And we don’t ever meet in the right order.”
“You think that’s bad, I can’t die! It’s getting kind of annoying.”
“Now that I think about it, I remember the Doctor talking about you. He said there was a sort of… wrongness to you after Bad Wolf.” Jack nodded.
“He wouldn’t let me travel with them any more.”
“He can be ever so annoying,” River sympathized with a sigh. “But he’s my Doctor, and I love him.” Now Jack sighed. “Jealous?”
“I’m practically the king of flirting, but it’s really only the Doctor I want, and he’s taken. First Rose, now you.”
“Wait, who’s Rose?” River asked accusingly, leaning in close and glaring at Jack.
“Oh, he didn’t tell you? I’d expect not. Just don’t worry about it. She’s out of the picture.”
“Fine,” River replied, backing off with a sigh.

“So, now what?”
“Well, apparently it’s your job to protect me.”
“Protect me,” River replied, leaning in close.
“Well, I think it’s time I took you out to a drink. You deserve it, you sexy girl.”
“You’ll have to catch me first!” she shouted, running off.

Jack ran after her with a smile, but then he sighed. The Doctor sure was a lucky man.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

How To Build A Mind Palace

Okay, first questions first: what is a mind palace? Also called a "memory palace" or the "method of loci", it's a way of remembering information by storing it in a "palace" inside your head. It was made popular by Sherlock Holmes in the BBC show Sherlock, but it actually dates back to the philosophers of ancient Rome and Greece. It's a very effective technique for remembering things, and it's also a good cure for boredom.

So, how does one make a mind palace? That's what this post seeks to explain.

1. Remove all distractions.
You want peace and quiet to build your mind palace, as it will be fragile and hard to maintain at first. It also helps to close your eyes.

2. Decide what your palace will look like.
You can make it look however you want, but it's best to start with something you are very familiar with. For example, your mind palace might be your bedroom. Whatever location you choose, make sure it's one you can visualize completely. You may choose to have multiple rooms, but it's best to start with one. Practice to make sure you know exactly what it looks like before you move on.

3. Figure out where everything is and what route you will take.
It's important to keep rooms in the same place, or else you will get lost and have difficulty remembering information. This is especially true if you need to remember things in a certain order.

4. Figure out where you will store information.
What places make the most sense to put your facts in? If your mind palace is a library, you may wish to store information in the books. Or if your mind palace is your bedroom, maybe you shove things under the bed. Or maybe you're organized and have a desk. Whatever works for you. Just keep it the same, so you remember where everything is.

5. Take some more time to memorize your mind palace.
Make sure you remember where everything is and won't forget easily before you go on. You wouldn't want to go to all the trouble of making a mind palace only to have it disappear because you can't remember it well enough.

6. Start storing information.
Now you can finally put in those facts you've been waiting to store in your mind palace. To avoid taking up to much space, it's a good idea to use abbreviations and symbols that make sense to you. You just need something that will jog your memory. Often, strange or shocking things help you remember best. For example, if you need to remember that the first president of the US was George Washington, you could imagine a 1-ton weight in a bathtub. Have fun with this step. Just do whatever helps you remember.

7. Create interactive objects/people.
Often, it's helpful to put things in your mind palace that you can interact with. Maybe instead of imagining the weight in the bathtub, you just walk up to George Washington and he tells you "I was the first president of the US." Or maybe you have a secret passage in your mind palace, just for fun. After all, having fun helps you remember things.

8. Explore your mind palace.
Go on, have a look around. Examine everything and everyone so that you can remember it all later. Make sure you know your mind palace inside and out.

9. Visit often.
If you don't, you will forget the information and your mind palace will disappear. If that happens, you can try to rebuild it, or just make a new one.

10. Have fun!
This is primarily a tool for remembering stuff, but it can be a place to hang out, too. Maybe you'd like to play a game of wizard chess with a Ravenclaw. Do whatever you want; it's your mind palace.

Thanks! I hope you liked that. If you want to know what my mind palace is like, click here. If you'd like to know more about how to build a mind palace, check out this website, this website, this website, or this website.

If you already have a mind palace, tell me about it in the comments below. Bye!

Friday, June 6, 2014

70th Anniversary Of D-Day

Hello, dear readers. Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day. For those of you who didn't pay attention in history class, it's the day the Allied powers stormed the beaches of Normandy. It marked a turning point in World War II. So, to remember D-Day and WWII, I have compiled a list of my favorite WWII movies/TV episodes.

1.  The Great Escape (1963)
This is probably my favorite WWII movie. In this one, the Germans think it would be a good idea to put all the prisoners who like to escape into one prison. Of course, that's a pretty stupid idea, as they soon plan a mass escape. Fun fact- this movie is actually based on a true story.

2.  WarGames
This comes in a close second. In this movie, a simulation machine is made to play out a global war situation, to help the US come up with a good strategy. A kid who is an expert computer hacker breaks into it. He doesn't know what it really is, so when the computer asks if he'd like to play a game, he says yes. The US and the Soviets see the display of this war and think it is real. Chaos ensues. Fun fact- 5 months and 4 days later, the program Able Archer was launched. Coincidence? I think not.

3.  The Book Thief
This is another great movie. A girl who is the daughter of Communists gets adopted by a German family so that she will be safer. Throughout the movie, the theme of books comes up. She is an avid reader and always needs new reading material. At the same time, she has to deal with all the struggles of living through WWII. Fun fact- this is based on a book. I really need to read the book.

4.  Let’s Kill Hitler
Just the title makes this episode of Doctor Who amazing. It comes from a line by Mels: "You've got a TARDIS, I've got a gun. What the hell, let's kill Hitler." While it's more about the Doctor and spoilers (sorry, you'll just have to watch it. I will reveal no more.) than Hitler, it is set in WWII. That's how we get this brilliant line.
Moffat must have had a lot of fun writing this line.
Also, check out this spoof video of Hitler's reaction to the episode.

5. Victory of the Daleks
Yup, another Doctor Who episode. This time, we visit the Allies. Churchill has got some new machines to help him in the war. He calls them ironsides, but the moment the Doctor sees them, he knows what they really are: Daleks. So then the Doctor, helped by Amy, has the rest of the episode to try and defeat the Daleks. Fun fact- Mark Gatiss (cowriter of the episode and cowriter of Sherlock) makes a cameo appearance as the spitfire pilot.
Yup, this one's got good quotes, too.
Gotta love Matt Smith.

So, that's the end of my list. I hope you liked it. Happy D-Day!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Fandom Texts: Harry Potter Edition

Okay, so the fandom texts are fairly popular. Now, they will be a regular thing. You can expect a new set of fandom texts every thursday. So for this week, it's Harry Potter! Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Fandom School (5th period): How To Survive Hiatus

So, you've joined a fandom. Things are going great, and then- WHAM! Your show goes on hiatus. Or the series ends. Or for whatever other reason, there will be no more new content for a while. What do you do?

1. Rewatch old episodes - this way, you can make sure you get the most out of the show while you are waiting. You might see stuff you've missed before, and there are many episodes/books that just never get old.

2. Commiserate with others in the fandom - you're probably not the only one upset about hiatus. Talk with other people about how frustrating it is.

3. Create your own fan works - this is a great thing to do, especially when you're waiting for a new series to come out. Write fanfiction, make your own trailer for the new season, make other fan videos, make song parodies, make fan art... the possibilities are endless.

4. Join another fandom - there are so many awesome fandoms out there! While you're waiting for Season 4 of Sherlock, maybe you could start reading (and watching) Harry Potter, for example.

5. Go insane - while not recommended, this does happen to a lot of fans on hiatus.

So, I hope that helps. Good luck surviving hiatus, and come back next week for the next Fandom School post (or come back tomorrow to see an awesome post that's not about Fandom School). Bye!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bad Wolf

That's right, today is Bad Wolf Day. Now, I could just write "bad wolf" over and over again, but that wouldn't be any fun. Just in case you were wondering, here is the Bad Wolf speech:

I looked into the TARDIS and the TARDIS looked into me. I am the Bad Wolf. I create myself. I take the words... I scatter them, in time and space. A message, to lead myself here. I want you safe, my Doctor. Protected from the false God. You are tiny. I can see the whole of time and space, every single atom of your existence, and I divide them. Everything must come to dust. All things, everything dies.

So, I don't have anything profound to share for Bad Wolf Day, so instead, I've collected my favorite Bad Wolf fan art for you to enjoy. (Note that none of these pictures are my own.)