About Marcy Kennedy

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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars The Old Republic MMOI’m excited today to welcome special guest poster Sarah Quick. Sarah and I met years ago in high school where our quirky personalities quickly made us friends. Sarah was lucky enough to take part in the beta for Star Wars: The Old Republic and fell in love with the game. I’ve invited her here to tell you a little more about why she thinks Old Republic is perfect for Star Wars fans and non-Star Wars fans alike . . .

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Gaming has been a big part of my life for many years now. Though there are plenty of different video games to choose from, my personal favorites are Massive Multiplayer Online games (MMOs for short). I’ve been actively playing MMOs for the better part of seven years, starting with World of Warcraft, moving on to Rift, and recently turning to the dark side and playing the newly released Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is, in my opinion, the best MMO out there. So why is it the best? Well, I could simply say that it’s Star Wars and leave it at that; however, for those of you who aren’t Star Wars fans, I’ll expand a bit on the reasons why I think this game beats out all others.

Interactive Conversations and Environments

In many MMOs, you simply walk up to the quest giver, they hand you the quest, and you walk off to do it. In Old Republic, you interact with the quest giver, holding a conversation where your replies are often divided into three categories: Friendly, Neutral, or Evil. Depending on what your character says, the quest giver will respond in a certain way. This means that, should you do the quest again on a second character, their conversation will be different. This also gives you the feel that you are truly gathering information before going out to perform the task.

The environment is also interactive for some of the classes. For example, certain areas can provide natural cover for classes such as Smugglers, and allow them to minimize the damage they take while defeating enemies.

Space Battles

Nothing says Star Wars better than some space battles. Old Republic offers multiple levels of battles. Each battle is timed and has certain objectives you must complete in that time. As you level up, you need to upgrade your ship’s armor and weapons since targets are harder to destroy and your ship takes damage faster. Keeping your ship fully upgraded means the best outcome for your missions. Space battles also provide a great amount of experience points and credits to help you level, and pay for upgrades and training needed for future quests and missions.

Player Vs. Player (PVP)

I’ve never been much of a fan of PVP content. In many MMOs, there are a high amount of characters referred to as twinks. Twinks are generally second characters belonging to players who have another high level character (generally that person’s main character) supplying them with the best of the best gear. This means that particular person is darn hard to kill and often will single out one other player to repeatedly kill. Perhaps this will one day effect the PVP in Old Republic; however, at this point, there aren’t a lot of characters at maximum level, which means no twinks to be seen just yet.

Whether you play a lightsaber wielding Jedi or a gun slinging Commando, I must admit there’s something enjoyable about the PVP in Old Republic. There are three random matches that you can end up in, two of which are based on a timer as well as an objective. The team that scores the most points or holds the objectives the longest during that time frame wins and is granted the most experience, credits, and commendations for the match. The losers, however, don’t walk away empty-handed. They get the same things to a lesser degree. PVP commendations can be used to buy gear and weapon upgrades for you and your companions.

Companions

Each class gains certain companions throughout the game, ranging from wookies to droids and beyond. Companions help in battles, craft items for skill crews, and go on gathering missions. You can gain affection, somewhat similar to reputation in other MMOs, with your companions depending on what you say in a conversation. A higher level of affection means better results on gathering missions. However, it’s important to know that companions are gear-dependent, so it’s not just your character that needs to have their gear updated but your companions as well.

There are generally three types of companions that each character gets—a tank, a healer, and a dps. A tank has lots of health but doesn’t do a lot of damage. They are hard to kill and are great for fights against extremely tough mobs or beasts that you are killing. A healer has the ability to keep you alive through fights, yet they are often labeled as squishies because they are quite easy to kill. A dps (damage per second) type does a lot of damage, and while they’re not as easy to kill as a healer, they’re also not as long-lasting as a tank. Choosing the right type of companion in a fight can mean the difference between success and defeat.

Storyline

Old Republic has great storylines for each class, as well as planetary story lines. Class specific storyline quests often occur in the same areas as regular quests; however, they lead to very specific interactions with various people and encounters with enemies. Because each class quest line is different, you won’t be constantly repeating quests whenever you level a second or third character. Only a certain number of quests on each planet are shared between all of the classes, so it makes leveling up multiple characters much more enjoyable. Nothing is worse than having to constantly repeat quests over and over every time you want to make a new character.

I could go into more reasons, but these are the ones that make the game for me. So whether or not you’re a Star Wars fan, if you’re looking for a great game to play, check out Old Republic.

Happy gaming, and may the Force be with you.

Have you tried Star Wars: The Old Republic? Would you consider playing it? More importantly, are you a Star Wars fan? 🙂

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Versatile Blogger Award

In early November 2011, I officially launched my blog Life At Warp 10. You can imagine how thrilled and honored I was when, less than two months later, one of my favorite bloggers passed along the Versatile Blogger Award to my baby blog. Thanks so much to fantasy author Jessica O’Neal for giving me this award! If you haven’t yet checked out her site, be sure to go there next because you don’t want to miss her series on the characters of Harry Potter or her awesome post on learning to shoot a bow.

Versatile Blogger Award

One of the conditions for accepting this award is that I need to share seven things about myself.

(1) I’m a stray animal magnet. Literally. They show up at my door, and I’m incapable of turning them away. I currently have seven cats, down from my high of 12.

(2) I’m writing a historical fantasy for the ABA with Lisa Hall-Wilson that asks, “What if the Arthurian legends originated not in Britain, but near the Black Sea from an Amazon warrior’s pursuit for equality and a barbarian Scythe’s spiritual quest?

(3) When I was 10, I broke a boy’s nose. In my defense, it was an accident, and I’ve felt bad about it ever since, but apparently I have a mean right hook.

(4) I enjoy editing. The biggest compliment I ever received about my editing skills was that I “make the page bleed red.” (*Shameless Plug Alert* I offer manuscript critiques for fiction, as well as various levels of editing for fiction and non-fiction if you’re looking to hire a freelance editor. *End Shameless Plug*)  

(5) I play the flute and violin, can play very simple songs on the piano, and played percussion in my high school concert band. I can’t sing. At all. It’s painful to listen to.

(6) I can eat an entire large pepperoni pizza by myself (and then some).

(7) When I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I received the Governor General’s Silver Medal, which means I had the highest GPA of all the students who graduated from my university that year. When I graduated with my master’s degree, I graduated summa cum laude. Yet I have to have my husband remove my digital camera memory card because I can’t figure it out.

The final part of the Versatile Blogger Award is to pass it along to 15 recently discovered blogs that I think deserve recognition. I’m going to loosely interpret “recently discovered” to mean “sometime in the last year.” (In alphabetical order because I’m like that.)

Amber West – A Day Without Sushi

Angela Wallace – Believe, Dream, Awaken

August McLaughlin – Savor the Storm

Coleen Patrick – Read. Smile. Repeat.

Debra Kristi – Sparks In the Fire

Emma Burcart – Occasional Epiphanies

Fabio Bueno – Diamonds & Rust

Gene Lempp – Unearthing the Future

Ingrid Schaffenburg – Threadbare Gypsy Soul

Jenny Hansen – More Cowbell

Lena Corazon – Flights of Fancy

Lisa Hall-Wilson – Through the Fire

Myndi Shafer – Blogging Barefoot

Nicole Maggi – From Getting the Call to Seeing the Book on the Shelf

Samantha Warren – Stealing Starships

If you’re one of the people I passed the Versatile Blogger Award on to, I hope you’ll also pass it along, but there’s no pressure. If you don’t want to do it now, you can always do it later, and I know some of you have already received it (but I love your blogs enough to second the award).

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The Great Equalizer

Ice Skating The Great EquilizerOn New Year’s Eve, my husband and I did what we’ve done every year since we became a couple. We went to the free skating session at the local ice rink.

Before a half-hour passed, the arena filled up with every age group and stage of life—grandparents watching their grandchildren from the stands, parents teaching their three-year-olds to skate, couples holding hands, teenage girls wearing less clothing than they needed to stay warm, and teenage boys dropping clumps of snow down the teenage girls’ backs.

Ice skating is one of life’s greatest equalizers.

Once you’re on the ice, no one cares if you’re like me, wearing skates you’ve had since you were 13, or if you’re like my husband, who used his Christmas money from my grandpa to buy his first pair of skates that afternoon.

No one cares if you’re a figure skater or hockey player, or if you’re like the woman we sat next to while lacing our skates who was getting on the ice for the first time in 23 years.

No one cares about the color of your skin or whether you’re rich or poor. Everyone is fighting the same battle to stay on their feet on the ice.

Even though my husband and I grew up in completely different worlds, ice skating is something we can share. I tell him about how I learned to skate on the rough ice of the river not far from my parents’ house, and about the ice rink my dad built in the field behind his work shed so my brother could practice his hockey moves. He tells me about the year-round rinks in Washington, DC, and we reminisce about the outdoor rinks surrounded by Christmas lights we’ve gone to together.

On the ice rink, parts of our lives that were separate come together. We have a history together before we ever met.

When we talk about equalizers, things that cut across all humanity, we usually focus on the big things—death, marriage, birth. But we don’t have any control over those big things. Not really. We do have control over the smaller ones and how often we seek them out.

I know ice skating won’t change the world, but it gives us one of those moments when we remember that all people are equal and valuable and that, if we look hard enough, we all have things in common. And maybe if we seek out more of those little equalizers, we’ll start to find that the gaps that divide us start to look a little bit smaller too.

Do you have a favorite ice skating memory? What other little equalizers have you come across?

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Making This Year Better Than The Last

Did you make a New Year’s resolution yesterday? Did you know that you have a 78% chance of breaking it?

A few years ago, I gave up on making New Year’s resolutions because I always broke them and ended up feeling like a failure. This past year, though, I noticed another more serious problem.

My life has become triage.

Instead of acting, I spent most of my time reacting. Fires kept cropping up, and I survived by dealing with the biggest and badest first. Everything else tanked. I gained 20 pounds. My husband began to complain that he didn’t get any time with me anymore because I’m always working. I don’t remember what a day off looks like. Lisa and I are scrambling to prepare for the conference we’re headed to in New York this month.

I want this year to be better than the last.

Part of my problem goes back to my failed New Year’s resolutions, and why I was consistently breaking them. To make this year better than the last, I need to care for myself as well as I care for my characters. You see, I give them goals, but I mostly only had ambitions for myself.

An ambition is an abstract, high-level concept. For example, “I want a well-behaved dog” or “I want a happy marriage.” Two people can have the same ambition, but the way it plays out in their lives can be diametrically opposed based on how they define that ambition. Goals are how you reach your ambition. Without them, you can float around for years never certain if you’re making any progress toward your ambition.

If all you have is ambitions, you’re bound for disappointment and failure because you don’t have any direct control over whether an ambition is reached or not.

For example, “I want an agent this year” or “I want to lose 20 pounds.” Those are ambitions because nothing you do will guarantee they happen. You might change your eating habits and hit the gym, and only lose 10 pounds because you gained muscle as well. Or because that’s the healthy weight your body wants to be at.  

Goals, however, are in your control.

I do a lot of work for non-profit clients writing grant proposals. One of the things that separates successful grants from unsuccessful ones is that the successful ones set goals (they call them objectives) that are SMART.

S – specific

M – measurable

A – attainable

R – realistic

T – time-bound

So if your ambition is to land an agent this year (it’s one of the ambitions on my new list), set SMART goals to reach it.

For example, “I will query one new agent every week in 2012 except for the weeks of Christmas and Thanksgiving.” (Noah Lukeman suggests querying 50 agents before you give up on that particular project.)

Specific – You’ve given the number of agents (one) and what you’re going to do (query). You also specified what you’re not going to do.

Measurable – You either did or you didn’t send out a query each week.

Attainable– You can query an agent a week. That’s within the realm of what’s allowable when it comes to agents. You couldn’t talk to an agent on the phone every week any more than you can probably call up Suzanne Collins or Daniel Craig and expect to have a chat.

Realistic – This really depends on you. Maybe that isn’t realistic for you depending on what you know your personal limitations are. Maybe what you can do is query one new agent every two weeks. But you get the point. Don’t set an unrealistic goal like “I’m going to query 50 agents every week.”

Time-Bound – You have from Monday to Sunday each week to complete this goal. You have from January 1 to December 31 of 2012 to complete this goal.

If you reach your goal, you’re that much more likely to also fulfill your ambition.

I’m not just working on my goals and ambitions for my career, but also for the rest of my life. As writers, it can be easy to become a slave to our work, but some sacrifices are too great.

You see, I don’t just want to be remembered as a great writer at the end of my life. I also want to be remembered as a great wife. As a great friend. As a great daughter, and sister, and cousin, and niece. Perhaps one day as a great mother and grandmother and aunt.

To do that, I need to make this year better than the last.

What’s one ambition you have for this year, and one of the goals that you’re setting to try to meet it?

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas From My Family to Yours

Merry Christmas Santa Claus(Yes, I did put a Santa hat on my dog.)

I’ll be taking a short blogging break over the holidays to spend time with my family. I look forward to catching up with all of you when I return. In the meantime, please subscribe so that you don’t miss any of the coming posts in the new year!

And in case you find yourself ready to do some reading after all the presents are opened and you’ve reached the point where you don’t even want to think about food anymore, I wanted to leave you with a few excellent Christmas posts to read.

Santa Claus: The Granddaddy of all Superheroes from the folks at Comic Book Movie.

Myndi Shafer of Barefoot Blogging made me think about what Joseph, the step-father of Jesus, has to teach all of us.

Santa Claus, Man of Mystery by K.B. Owen gives two of the best Santa videos, as well as a hilarious list of why it’s great to be Santa.

If you missed my post, What If Santa Were Real? click through.

And Lisa Hall-Wilson and I have also left a Christmas message at Girls With Pens for our writer friends linking to our five most popular posts of 2011 and an amazing cello rendition of Carol of the Bells. 

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What If Santa Were Real?

Cynicism Vs. HopeSet aside how the traditions surrounding Santa Claus began. Set aside the commonly heard refrain that Christmas has become too commercial. Set aside whether you ever once believed in Santa Claus or not.

And ask yourself–what if Santa were real? What would be different if we lived in a world where, once every year, a jolly fat man in red slid down our chimneys to leave us either gifts or coal based on our actions of the past year?

There’d be a run on cookies and milk on Christmas Eve, since we wouldn’t want Santa to drop from hunger or low blood sugar halfway through his round-the-world trip.

We’d all build double-wide chimneys into our homes. Let’s face it, I don’t care how much magic he has, Santa isn’t fitting down a chimney pipe the size of my thigh. We’d also have to reinforce our roofs because mine isn’t going to support the weight of eight to nine reindeer (depending on whether Rudolph is flying that night), a sleigh, presents, and a fat man.

We’d stop singing “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” I’d rather not spread rumors about Santa’s fidelity and risk making Mrs. Claus jealous.

The world would have a little more laughter. Something about Santa’s laugh is infectious in the same way a happy child’s laugh is infectious.

We’d evaluate all our actions in terms of naughty or nice. Last week wasn’t a good week for me, but in the midst of the craziness, I had three chances to look beyond what I wanted and at what would be best for someone else. They weren’t convenient, but I don’t just want to be nice when it suits me. I want to be nice all the time—the way I would be if Santa really existed and recorded every action in an eternal ledger. I wouldn’t want to even take the chance that, in the end, I’d come out more naughty than nice.

We’d have to abandon cynicism for hope. In Miracle on 34th Street, six-year-old Susan asks for a house. And she gets it because Santa is real. The guilt you feel because you can’t provide your kids with the Christmas you’d like to? Write to Santa, and you just might get it anyway. If Santa were real, it would mean anything was possible.

While we might not be able to make anything possible, I think we can switch cynicism for hope the way we would if Santa really existed.

The Detroit radio station I listen to accepted letters where you could nominate someone who deserved a special Christmas, calling it Christmas On Us. Among those chosen was a young woman raising her little brother after their parents died. Because their mom didn’t have life insurance, they’d used everything they had to pay for her funeral. This young woman received a fully decorated Christmas tree, a year’s worth of flowers, a spa treatment, and $600 in Meijer’s gift cards. Enough to make her and her brother’s Christmas special.

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Paula Matchett, co-owner (with her husband) of Danny’s Improvements. They’ve started The ROOF Project to give a free new roof to one deserving family a year.

Blogger Amber West founded the #GoWithout Movement. The idea is that, even in tough economic times, we can give up something small. And with hundreds of people doing something small, we can suddenly do what previously seemed impossible.

The choice is ours. Will this year be the year we choose to be nice whether it’s convenient or not? To replace cynicism with hope? Will you chose 2012 to be the year you act as if Santa were real?

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What To Do When Your Loved Ones Want You To Quit

Broken HeartThe holidays are a wonderful time, but they can also be a difficult time for writers as we face questions (and criticism) from our friends and family. So I thought I’d update a post that I wrote almost a year ago in the hope that it will help you as much as writing it helped me. For those of you who aren’t writers, maybe it will help you understand the writer next to you a little better.

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If you want to be a writer, the most difficult challenge you’re going to face isn’t writer’s block. It isn’t learning how to properly use a semi colon or write a lead or find your voice. It isn’t even getting an agent or making enough money to pay the bills.

If you want to be a writer, the most difficult challenge you’ll face comes when someone you love says one of the following things about your career:

“You need to start making better decisions.”

“It’s time you grew up and acted like a responsible adult.”

“You can still write as a hobby, but you need to get a real job.”

In her post “Are We Born to Create,” bestselling author Kristen Lamb wrote, “Many of us, when we tell our family that we want to be a writer, what they hear is akin to, ‘Blah, blah, throwing away college education blah blah cult blah Kool-Aid, blah blah writer.’”

And it hurts.

You want them to recognize how hard you work and how worthwhile your job is. More than that, you want them to be proud of you.

If they keep at it long enough or if you hear it from enough people, the pain crescendos to a level where you can’t ignore it anymore. You start to doubt yourself and the decisions you’ve made. You’re forced into doing one of two things. Either you build a protective wall around that part of your life, perhaps even your whole life, and you exclude them from it, or you give up the career you love for something more acceptable.

Neither is a good solution.

So next time you face these joy-stealing, dream-killing, confidence-shaking lies, here’s how to survive.

Remind Yourself that the World Needs Writers

When I was growing up, a lot of people pushed for me to become a veterinarian or a teacher, despite the fact that I faint at the sight of blood and don’t have the patience to deal with a roomful of children or teenagers (hey, at least I’m honest about my limitations). They told me (in not so many words) that becoming a writer was a waste of my potential. Why would I throw away my future?

The world needs writers.

Without writers, we wouldn’t have classic literature or textbooks to study. We wouldn’t have the books, journal articles, and other written resources teachers use to learn their subjects and prepare their lesson plans.

Without writers, the millions of people whose favorite pastime is curling up with a book or magazine would have to fall back on watching TV or movies . . . except that without writers, we wouldn’t have TV shows or movies.

Without writers, politicians would become a lot less eloquent. (You don’t really think they write their speeches themselves, do you?)

Without writers, both print and online newspapers would have no content.

Without writers charities and non-profits wouldn’t be able to get their message out and bring in the funds they need to help people.

Without writers, we’d have to revert to preserving all the new advances in knowledge through oral traditions. Any student of history will tell you what a flawed method that is.

Ask for Clarification on What It Means to Have a Real Job

Some well-meaning relatives may go so far as to suggest you should have gotten a job at a fast food place long ago. I believe that all law-abiding work is honorable, but don’t understand why a minimum-wage job is a “real job” while writing isn’t. What does having a “real job” mean?

Does it mean helping people?

After publication of an article that Lisa Hall-Wilson and I co-wrote on pornography addiction, we received an email thanking us and telling us that we might have saved a marriage. It’s not the only thank you email I’ve received. My words make a difference.

Does it mean fighting traffic?

Seems to me that telecommuting and home offices are a growing trend because people don’t want to fight traffic, burn increasingly expensive gas, and worry about bad weather.

Does it mean someone else needs to sign your paychecks?

Someone else does sign my checks. And I’ll let you in on a secret—those paychecks bring in more than I could ever make from a minimum-wage job.

Does it mean putting on a tie, or khakis and a polo shirt/blouse, or a uniform?

I could put those on to sit at home if I really wanted, though I’m not sure why I would when I can work in sweats.

Does it mean having the respect of clients and colleagues?

If you’re professional, you can build good relationships, a good reputation, and develop regular clients regardless of your job title. I’ve earned enough respect in my field to teach at conferences and judge writing contests.

Find Some Allies

This world will always have people who feel that they know better than you what you should do with your life. It’ll always have people who find it easy to judge you for your choices even though they’ve never been in your position. It’ll always have people who draw attention to your failures and weaknesses rather than your successes and strengths.

Find yourself some people who’ll call you out on evil rather than on personal preference, who have your back, and who will fight harder for you than you do for yourself. You need the support. Even Batman had Robin and Superman had Lois Lane.

Keep In Mind Who You Really Need to Please

When it comes right down to it, other people’s opinions don’t matter. You have to make your own decisions and follow your own conscience. You are accountable only to God.

So have a good cry and some chocolate. Realize that it’s always going to sting. And then pick yourself up off the floor, sit your bottom back down in your computer chair, and meet that deadline . . . and the one after that . . . and the one after that . . .

Are you following your dream or did you give it up because your friends or family didn’t approve? Are you a writer who’s faced some of these criticisms? How did you handle it?

Interested in more ways to improve your writing? Point of View in Fiction is now available. (You also might want to check out Internal Dialogue or Showing and Telling in Fiction.) All are available in both print and ebook.

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Image Credit: freeimages.com/Kiomi

Lightsaber Duel

One of the reasons I love fan fiction is that it allows up-and-coming creative geniuses to learn and to showcase their talent in a safe environment. Will fan fiction ever earn them money? Probably not. But I think if you’re trying to earn money from fan fiction, you’ve missed the point. Fan fiction needs to be about having fun, learning, and becoming part of a world you love.

Ryan and Dorkman’s lightsaber duel is a form of fan fiction at its finest.

(My inspiration for this video post was a post called “To Those Who Write Fan Fiction: Beware” by Patrick Thunstrom.)

Were you impressed by what Ryan and Dorkman created? How do you feel about fan fiction? Have you ever tried it yourself?

And come find me on Twitter, on Facebook, or on Google+. I’d love to chat.

Did I Eat All The Bertie Bott’s Beans Flavors?

Earlier this week, in my Behind the Scenes post on Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, I let you vote on whether you wanted to know how my box of Every Flavor Beans tasted and whether I ate them all—even the vomit-, booger-, and rotten egg-flavored ones. Since I received a resounding “yes” . . .

After arranging our beans in the order we each planned to eat them (we ended up being opposite), my husband and I used a round of rock-paper-scissors to decide who’d eat the first bean. I lost.

Until I chewed, I honestly believed those little Jelly Bellies were going to taste good and be awful in name only. I was wrong. Oh so wrong.

“How was it?” my husband asked.

I swallowed and turned pleading eyes to him. “It tastes just like sweet grass.”

The black pepper tasted just like black pepper, the soap like when you get shampoo in your mouth in the shower. The earwax, despite its name, tasted like the wax lips I used to have as a kid at Halloween.

Overall, none of them were that terrible, but I knew from my husband’s reaction that the worst was yet to come.

The dirt bean came next and tasted like wet bark and mud (please don’t ask how I know what that tastes like). The sausage? Well, let’s just say meat and jelly beans should never go together.

And then all I had left was the earthworm, the vomit, the booger, and the rotten egg.

Earthworm apparently tastes like raw, moldy beets.

I’d be lying if I said that by the time I finished the earthworm bean I didn’t consider simply swallowing the vomit, booger, and rotten egg beans whole like pills. Then I could honestly say I’d eaten them, but I wouldn’t have had to taste them. Except that would have been cheating. So I chewed that vomit bean.

And I’m sad to report it reminded me exactly of the taste you get in your mouth when you almost throw up.

I looked at my husband, who only had black pepper, soap, and grass left (and who was smirking at me).

“Someone had to taste test these,” I said. “Can you imagine?”

“I hope they got hazard pay.” He popped soap into his mouth. “You’re up again.”

His plan of eating the terrible ones first suddenly looked brilliant.

I stared down my booger bean, and it stared back at me in all its mocking greenness, looking innocently like what I’d come to expect a juicy pear Jelly Belly to look like.

And I chewed and I swallowed. And then, in between chugging down a Diet Pepsi to try to purge my taste buds, I asked my OCD husband (who insists on even numbers of everything), “Are you really going to eat two of these?”

He shook his head. “My OCD can go to h*ll.”

And I forgave him the mild profanity because that’s exactly where the booger bean belonged.

Only one bean now stood between me and being able to claim the distinction of having eaten every awful Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans flavor that came in our boxes—rotten egg.

For the love of all things good, if you do buy a box of Bertie Bott’s Beans, do not eat this flavor. I tried. I really did. But this is like the Death Star of jelly beans. I couldn’t manage to get it down.

Not only could I not get it down, I spent a couple minutes gagging over our kitchen sink while my husband laughed.

To think I once thought cinnamon jelly beans were as bad as it got. I can safely say that we won’t be buying Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans again. At the same time, it was the most we’d laughed in weeks, and for that alone, it was worth it. Next time, though, I think I’ll stick to chocolate frogs.

If you still want to try these or if you’re throwing a Harry Potter-themed party, you can buy them from Jelly Belly or from Amazon.com. (My apologies to my Canadian readers. As far as I know, you can’t get them in Canada.)

If you want to go even farther behind the scenes, Jelly Belly also sells Bean Boozled, where flavors like chocolate pudding and canned dog food look identical. You won’t know what you’re eating until you chew.

Is there a flavor of jelly bean that you would absolutely refuse to try?

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Behind the Scenes: Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans

[Harry] finally tore his eyes away from the druidess Cliodna, who was scratching her nose, to open a bag of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans.

“You want to be careful with those,” Ron warned Harry. “When they say every flavor, they mean every flavor—you know, you get all the ordinary ones like chocolate and peppermint and marmalade, but then you get spinach and liver and tripe. George reckons he had a booger-flavored one once.”

—J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, pg. 103-104

My husband and I found them while on a quest for jelly belly jelly beans—Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans.

As huge fans of the Harry Potter books and movies, we couldn’t resist. Since any jelly beans we bought were going to be part of my mother-in-law’s early Christmas gift to us, we each got ourselves two of the palm-sized boxes.  

On the drive back to our hotel, I pulled a box from my bag and started reading the flavors. All the ordinary ones were listed—banana, blueberry, candy floss, cherry, green apple, marshmallow, lemon, tutti-frutti, and watermelon.

But the box also held some of the strange flavors like earwax, black pepper, and yes, even booger, that the Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans in the books are so famous for. I read them out to my husband.

“You don’t think they actually taste . . . bad, do you?” I asked. “Who would ever buy them a second time if they really do taste like dirt or rotten eggs?”

My husband, Harry Potter expert that he is, argued that maybe they would taste just as terrible as in the books. After all, not knowing what flavor you’re going to get, whether it will be delicious or disgusting, is part of the appeal of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans.

Maybe if I was a 10-year-old boy, I’d agree with him. I can still remember being ten years old and being tricked into eating a sour gumball a boy in my class promised was coated in sugar. He laughed hysterically at my puckered face.

But I’m not a 10-year-old boy, and the mere thought of eating jelly beans that might really taste like earthworm or soap made my stomach turn.

I decided I’d start with the dirt-flavored Bertie Bott’s bean, and if it wasn’t too terrible, I’d move on to the sausage, working my way through the flavors.  

As we divvied up our boxes to make sure we each got to taste every flavor, the question became, if the dirt bean tasted like dirt, would I throw myself on the altar of providing the full story and try every one? Would I even try the vomit-flavored one?

But I thought I’d take a vote to find out if you’d like to know whether they taste good or bad 🙂 Send out a tweet, @ me in a Google+ post, or comment to let me know your vote.

Yes = Please tell us if the dirt bean really tasted like dirt, and if you ate the vomit, booger, and rotten egg beans anyway.

No = I’d rather not know.

If Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans really did taste like every flavor, would you still try them? And would you like to know if they taste good or bad?

The answer to the question Did I Eat All the Bertie Bott’s Flavors? is now posted!

 

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