Headphones and Quill

Three Fandom Podcasts to Try

I love podcasts.  It’s a new thing for me; I became interested in them well after they became popular. It took a long time to get past the fact that, no, this isn’t like some of the boring talk-radio shows I was stuck listening to on the radio years ago. Podcasts are interesting and engaging; each one I listen to opens me up to some new ideas and concepts. The way I know a podcast will end up being a regular one for me is I find myself talking and/or arguing with the hosts while driving down the highway. (They can’t hear me, but that doesn’t stop me!)

In no particular order, here are a few of my favorites that have a fandom and/or Harry Potter focus to them:

1. Mugglenet Academia. Anyone that has been in the Harry Potter fandom for awhile has at least some passing knowledge of Mugglenet, a HP fansite. Over the years, they have rolled out a few different Harry Potter-themed podcasts.
What is it about: Academic discussions of Harry Potter fandom with experts in fields related to the discussion of the day.
Why you should give it a listen: Get a chance to listen very in-depth and educational conversations about the Harry Potter series
Favorite episode: Parseltongue, Gobbledegook, and Troll: Translating Harry Potter, an episode that discusses what goes into creating translations of the Harry Potter series.

2. Fansplaining: This is an interesting fandom podcast that came onto my radar a few months ago when the Harry Potter Alliance‘s Communications Director Jackson Bird was on the podcast. It actually might be my favorite podcast right now across all subjects.
What is it about: This is a general fandom podcast, so the possibilities are endless! The hosts are huge Harry Potter fans though, so HP is included in a number of conversations. Topics tend to be broad (Fanfiction! Copyright Law! Social Justice! Fandom on Tumblr!) and can occasionally jump from fandom to fandom.
Why give it a listen: Learn new things about fandoms you’re in as well as fandoms you may never have heard of before, intriguing discussions that go into perspectives you may never have considered, etc. This podcast satisfies my inner Ravenclaw. Also, it’s one of the few general nerdy/geeky podcasts that I know of with a feminist perspective.
Favorite episodes: Fangirling through Time, an episode that talks about the history of fandom in general with a focus on gender roles, or The Dark Fantastic, an episode that explores race in fandom and pop culture.

3. Always: The Potter Fandom Podcast. Okay, yes, I’m biased in recommending this one. After all, I’m in it! It’s easy to listen to the entirety of this podcast in a short period of time though; not only is it entertaining, but we haven’t had the time to record it in awhile so there aren’t many episodes.
What is it about: This is a podcast is about the Harry Potter fandom, specifically Harry Potter events and fan groups.
Why give it a listen: Hilarious tales of Harry Potter event planning, opportunity to hear about Harry Potter themed events around the world. If you have ever thought of running or helping with your local Harry Potter fan group, I recommend giving this a try.
Favorite Episodes: Conventions, a discussion of Harry Potter conventions, or Harry Potter Food and Fandom, which talks about the various ways the fan groups have used HP themed food for their meetups.

Honorable Mention: Alohomora from Mugglenet. Many people have recommended this podcast to me, but there are so many episodes already that I’m a little intimidated to jump in. It’s quite a commitment. I’ve heard such wonderful things though that I felt it needed a place in this post. Alohomora breaks down the Harry Potter books into small bits, discussing just a few chapters at a time. It’s the perfect accompaniment to your Harry Potter series re-read. Give it a listen and let me know your thoughts!

 

What are some of your favorite podcasts?

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New Year's Resolutions

Need Help with Your New Year’s Resolutions? Join the Slug Club!

It’s that time of year again when people start thinking about new beginnings. Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions or goals for 2016? If so, joining and being active with the Central Florida Slug Club might actually help you accomplish your goals! How so? Here are some example goals:

  1. Make Friends and/or Get Out of the House More. Making friends as an adult is hard. In school, you always saw the same people in class each year and always had that one thing in common. But as an adult, you don’t necessarily have that. With the Slug Club though, you already know that every single person at our meetups has at least one thing in common – we all love the Harry Potter series. It makes it easier to get conversations started. Even if you don’t say a word during your first meetup or two, keep coming! The more you see the same people, the easier it gets to open up and start talking with new people.
  2. Read More. We have a book club in our group! Book club meets every other month and alternates between re-reading the Harry Potter series (with some members reading it for the first time!) and reading a new book as selected by members.
  3. Learn a New Skill/Try Something New – I guarantee that at some point in the year, you will learn something new at a Slug Club meeting. We’ve had a variety of activities such as knitting your own house scarf, laser tag, cosplay days, and Quidditch pong.
  4. Volunteer. Want to help others and get more involved in your community? We have a subgroup within the Slug Club called S.P.E.W. (Society for the Promotion of Everyone’s Welfare) that does community service and activism projects. They’re also a member of the Harry Potter Alliance, an international nonprofit that uses the positive energy of fandom to create social change.12243380_1247831591910240_892006089286919503_n
  5. Get organized. …yeah, okay, we might not be able to help you out much with this, though come find me at a meetup and I will be happy to discuss at length the pros and cons of various planners I’ve tried over the years.
  6. Improve your writing skills. Both our newsletter and blog are always looking for submissions! Write something and send it our way! Also, participate in our book club! Reading the writings of fellow authors helps improve your skills… plus you’ll learn a lot from the discussions about what other readers enjoy and get recommendations on other books to read.
  7. Improve your health. Okay, so our pizza nights probably aren’t the best for this (though they do have vegan and gluten-free options!) But for those who are looking to get more physically active, a number of our members are also in the Hogwarts Running Club. Start a post in our Facebook discussion group and get a group together!
  8. Travel more. There’s at least one Harry Potter convention each year. They are a great way to indulge your nerdy side while giving you an excuse to travel to a location you might not have necessarily visited on your own. (Trust me, I know. New Hampshire wasn’t on my top list of travel locations until I started attending MISTI-con. Now I can’t wait until my next trip up there… and at least 20 Slug Club members are attending next time!)Slug Club and Portkey to Magic at MISTI-con Ball

Have we convinced you? Join our Meetup.com and/or Facebook groups in order to find out about upcoming meetups.