land of snow and glyphs

You can call me Arrows or a4p; other people who let me ride on their zombie dinosaur call me Kate.


Every time a character says “it’s my birthday” in any story and it’s obvious that they’re not going to get nice birthday celebrations, it doesn’t matter how much I previously liked or hated the character, I want to hug them and feed them cake. 

I mean it. If the character is like “I- it’s my birthday” all nervous MY HEART WILL MELT I don’t care if they killed everybody and that’s why nobody’s coming to their party I DON’T CARE. 

(via monstersqueen)

"Murphy planted her feet and lowered her arms casually to her sides. I recognized the stubborn outthrust angle of her jaw; she had that look she got when she was behind on points at one of her martial arts tournaments. Murphy was ready to fight."

Fool Moon, Jim Butcher.

Can I just point out that this means that Harry was attending Murph’s martial arts tournaments really early in their relationship! He mentioned that they didn’t speak as friends between Storm Front and Fool Moon, which means he was doing it—with some regularity—even before the Shadowman. I love this.

I’m not sure that this has been sufficiently emphasized.

I live in a part of the country where it snows three or four months out of the year, so it’s not like I don’t need to clear my driveway and sidewalk. But a flamethrower seems kind of like overkill. Sure, you can say “This flamethrower is for SNOW ONLY and don’t burn other stuff with it,” but a man can only own a flamethrower for so long before he starts itching to throw flames.
You’re sitting on your porch in May and you see a million squirrels in your yard, and you think about your flamethrower you’re not going to be able to use until December, and you say “Just this once.” Next thing you know, you’re blasting the mailbox with hellfire and screaming at your wife IT WAS JUST JUNK MAIL, DON’T FIGHT WITH ME OUT IN THE YARD!!!

I think this is the underlying reason for Harry Dresden's problem with buildings. (TVTropes links)

Things that I’ve noticed after finishing up the first Harry Potter book!

27. March 2012


It seems as though there are at least a couple of things that both Jim Butcher and JK Rowling agree on when it comes to magic, and something a little deeper than that.

In both series’, these two things are brought up:

  • The importance and power behind a Name.
  • The power that Love has as a driving force on the side of Good against the greater Evil.

I’ve just (now) finished reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and in the very last chapter I came across two quotes from Dumbledore that made me smile, because they reminded me so much of TDF.

First: “Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.

Of course, this does seem a little opposite The Dresden Files, at first glance. In TDF Harry is often cautioned to use names very wisely, especially when around certain beings (mostly nonhuman). But Harry also often mocks and makes fun of the names of beings he’s facing up against, in a sense putting down who they are. There is a lot of strength in a name in both series’, whether it be for fear or for knowledge.

Second: “Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign…to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin. Quirrell, full of hatred, greed, and ambition, sharing his soul with Voldemort, could not touch you for this reason. It was agony to touch a person marked by something so good.

Again, it should be very easy to see the connection between this and TDF. The White Court of vampires is completely unable to even touch the skin of anyone who has felt true love.

I’m sure some people would use things like this to toss around the ‘who stole who’s idea first’ thing, or something like that. But I would rather enjoy it. I think having those two similarities in the books are beautiful, because they’re somewhat true to real life. When reading one book series and understanding something like that, you may say ‘okay, cool, he came up with this as part of this magical world of rules and facts’ but when two different series’ hold the same truth, it almost gives a kind of realism to the world that maybe wasn’t there before.

Anyway, this has been a great writing appreciation post. Sorry there isn’t more to it, but I wanted to share this with all of you, even if you had previously made the connection yourselves. I hope everyone is doing well and continues to do so. <3

I love looking at magic systems in different fictional universes, I can’t believe I’ve never thought about comparing the use of Names between these series before! Applying some principles:

What the Wizarding World would do:

  • Harry Potter -> The Boy Who Lived
  • Voldemort -> He Who Must Not Be Named
  • He Who Walks Behind… I think someone got here first
  • a skinwalker -> [let’s not think about this, it wouldn’t improve anyone’s life]

What Harry Dresden would do:

  • Harry Potter -> Hey, kid
  • Voldemort -> Snake-Boy Jr
  • He Who Walks Behind -> “I know you are but what am I?”
  • a skinwalker -> Shagnasty

In other words, 

Fandom, you’re doing it right.

The Sword of Damocles

16. February 2012


“…and now here he is, a full-grown adult in a church basement in the 137th nicest city in America, divorced, addicted to video games, mostly friendless, eking out a meager living by exploiting his cancertastic past, slowly working his way toward a master’s degree that will not improve his career prospects, waiting, as we all do, for the sword of Damocles to give him the relief that he escaped lo those many years ago when cancer took both of his nuts but spared what only the most generous soul would call his life” (Green 5).

In Hazel’s description of Patrick, the leader of the Support Group which she attends, she references the ancient Greek moral anecdote, The Sword of Damocles.

Damocles, a courtier of Dionysius II of Syracuse, makes commentary on the opulence and great power in the life of Dionysius, emphasizing how the good fortune of the tyrant. Dionysius offers to trade places with Damocles, an offer which Damocles, after viewing the luxurious lifestyle of Dionysius, was eagerly accepts. However, once Damocles takes the throne and assumes the extravagance of one in power, Dionysius arranges for a sword to hang over Dionysius’s head, suspended only by a strand of horse hair. Upon this realization, Damocles begs for liberation from the agreement. It is fear that allows Damocles to begin to comprehend the life of a tyrant. A life of uncertainty and constant awareness of mortality.

The irony in Hazel’s description of Patrick lies within this reference to Damocles. Though Dionysius does indeed live a life of magnificence, the reality of his life lacks magnificence in the face of constant impending doom. Patrick is no Dionysius. And Patrick’s wearied and banal trudging through “what only the most generous soul would call his life” contains neither the glamour of being a powerful tyrant, nor the luxury of being so fortunate as to cast speculation upon the life of another.

Hazel makes a point throughout the book of resenting the “heroism” of cancer patients, where those who live healthy lives can cast an idea of virtue and aspire to the wisdom and strength of these superhuman and unfortunate survivors. She notes the blatant error of assigning cancer patients heroic and wise lifestyles, when in fact there simply exists a person, attempting not only to grapple with cancer, but with understanding how to be human. Hazel says in chapter two, “Illness repulses.” The same is true of idealizing someone to the point of becoming more than human, and in this way, not human at all.

This theme of idealization clashing with reality gets established with this reference, as does the idea that the fragility of an ideal (or a person) does not make it a precious or ‘fortunate’ thing (as Damocles would have believed).

When I read Hazel’s description, my first thought was of the Doom of Damocles, which is of course the same concept, but for screw-ups instead of leaders.

I think meeting Hazel might break Dresden’s heart. He has that saving-people thing, and there isn’t anything he could do to save her.


Harry Dresden and Michael Carpenter

Not just a vampire. A cheesy vampire.