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Book Review—Of Dice and Men by David M. Ewalt

Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It came to me in the bookdrop at the library, and I was interested enough to take it home to read. I have played a few games of D&D, but I don’t have a regular campaign. I knew a bit of the history and was interested in learning more.

I really enjoyed how this book details the origins of D&D (as closely as it can from someone who wasn’t there at the time) while interspersing details about the writer’s campaigns. I came for the history of the creation of complex gameplay, its rise and fall and rise again, and different types of related games. This history is told with so much heart and backed up by the sort of research a trained researcher is good at. There’s a bit of bias at times, but everyone has people they root for and their own favorite version of RPGs, so I can’t blame the writer for that. It came across as more factual than I was expecting while still paying homage to those involved in D&D’s origins. How amazing it would have been to have been part of one of those early games with the DM hidden behind filing cabinet drawers and the newness of the adventure ahead.

I was not expecting the book to be so personal, but I loved that it was. The author juxtaposes parts of his campaigns both in exposition and actual narrative with what’s happening in the history. This both serves as an example while also entertaining. I enjoy playing D&D, but I think I like watching D&D and other RPGs even more. Being part of the action is great, but it’s also a great responsibility. I love watching people collaborate to create a story all their own. So I did like many of the adventures the author shares with us, from wargaming to LARPing to his weekly D&D campaign. His passion for D&D easily jumped from the pages. As a nerd as well, I appreciated all the references, from Monty Python to Doctor Who to Star Trek: TNG. Finding what’s in a nerd’s heart, what really makes a fanboy or fangirl happy, is one of my favorite things. This book is 100% that.

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Thing Thursday: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone

Greed_zpswesrrss9 This special collector’s edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was marked for $75 at Borders, but on sale for $20. So I figured I got a great book for a great deal. It’s a prized part of my collection, and I love it very much. It’s got an illustration of JKR’s inside as well, which was wonderful to see so many years before her website and Pottermore revealed these sorts of insights.

HPDrawing
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Made It Monday: Wand

Here’s the first wand I’ve ever actually finished. I made it for a Hufflepuff in a Harry Potter care package swap I was in a few months ago. I’m pretty happy with it.

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Wildcard Wednesday: Quidditch

On Saturday, I hauled my equipment over to Great Falls, VA, and taught about 20 kids how to play muggle Quidditch. The rules are pretty hard to get across, but (luckily) many were Harry Potter fans. So once they got the hang of it, they had a lot of fun.

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I’m available to hire out for parties 😉

12 Days of Fandom Ornaments: #4

My Christmas tree is a mix of ornaments from my childhood and ones from later on in my life. Many of them are related to my favorite fandoms, naturally. I thought I would showcase one every other day in December in a 12 Days of Fandom Ornaments series.

Day 4: Off to See the Wizard

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I bought this one at a thrift shop. It’s very heavy, so I have to use branches to prop it up. But I like the look of the wizard here from the Wizard of Oz, especially that his balloon is there and the ribbon on his hat his green.

12 Days of Fandom Ornaments: #2

My Christmas tree is a mix of ornaments from my childhood and ones from later on in my life. Many of them are related to my favorite fandoms, naturally. I thought I would showcase one every other day in December in a 12 Days of Fandom Ornaments series.

Day 2: A House Full of Black Santas

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I bought this little guy shortly after reading Paper Towns by John Green. I figured that my tree could not possibly be complete without a black Santa. Maybe it’s even similar to one of the 12,000 black Santas mentioned in the book?

12 Days of Fandom Ornaments: #1

My Christmas tree is a mix of ornaments from my childhood and ones from later on in my life. Many of them are related to my favorite fandoms, naturally. I thought I would showcase one every other day in December in a 12 Days of Fandom Ornaments series.

Day 1: Erised?

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This Harry Potter ornament features pre-movie art. Harry seems to be looking into the mirror to see his greatest desire. When you put a light bulb into the ornament, the desire is magically revealed… all the gold in his Gringotts vault. Huh. I’d have guessed James and Lily Potter. But, no, gold. Harry loves gold more, apparently. Strange, but I still love the ornament.

Top Ten: Scary T-Shirts

In honor of the upcoming holiday, here are some of my scariest fandom shirts. And by scary I mean not very scary at all really.

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Top Ten: Fandom Things I Wish I Could Make

Sometimes I will pin things on my Ideas & Inspirations Pinterest board with every intention of trying my hand at that project or something similar to it at least. But every so often I come across a craft that is so amazing I could never hope to duplicate it.

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Top Ten: Characters I Sort Into Hufflepuff

hufflepuff_crestPeople who know me know I like to sort people I meet into Hogwarts Houses. I can’t do it with all people, but some people give off pretty strong indicators. I do the same thing with fictional characters.

I thought it would be fun to come up with 10 characters I sort into particular houses. And, as I’m a Hufflepuff, I thought I’d start with my favorite house. I thus give you ten characters I usually sort into Hufflepuff:

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