The bookish traveler who’s a little bit weird

Photo by author

Hello out there! My name is Keara Lou! If you’re not sure how to pronounce my name, remember this. The word ear is in the middle of my name. Lots of people get it wrong on the first try, so don’t worry! I won’t be offended if you get it wrong too.

I grew up in Northern Michigan, my hometown surrounding a massive lake that looks like a deformed lemon on a map. Another lake wasn’t too far off with some of the clearest water you’d ever see. Houghton and Higgins Lakes are popular vacation spots; small travel companies called…


How something so simple can give your brain a restart.

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I have a love/hate relationship with our culture right now. I love that we live in a time that anyone can do anything, and I’d believe it, but I hate that we have to hustle at everything we do. It’s too risky to have one stream of income anymore, and I hate how most people find anything that doesn’t make money a waste of time.

What happened to enjoying things without the purpose of making a buck? What happened to being a fan of something without knowing every little detail about it? What happened to letting yourself be?

Sitting outside to relax is nothing new where I came from

I grew…


And keep it from affecting my writing

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Around this time last summer, I commented on someone’s story. Another person immediately replied, disagreeing then calling me fat for good measure. They said it in such a way that it sounded like they hoped I died from COVID because I’m fat.

At first, it hurt. My partner pushed me to write a story about how I felt about the comment. And I did, but of all the stories I’ve written on this platform, it’s my least favorite.

From that day on, I told myself I wouldn’t let belligerent comments get to me. …


Part 7 of Rereading Harry Potter in my thirties

Hardcover copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Hardcover copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Photo by author

And here we are, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The final book in the series gave a near-satisfying ending. If the Epilogue weren’t there, it would’ve been one of the most satisfying endings I’d come across in a book series in a long time. It would’ve made #3 on my list instead of #4. (Yeah, I hate the epiloge.)

I got to get the Harry Potter books on release days because I had a relative who directed a library in Ohio. She knew I loved the series, and she ordered an extra copy to send to me every time…


Part 6 of Rereading Harry Potter in my thirties

A paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
A paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Photo by Keara Lou

When Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince hit the shelves, I didn’t get the book as quickly as everyone else around me. Two of my friends talked about it, and they continued when I asked them to stop. Instead of letting me enjoy the book, they gave away most of the spoilers.

It pissed me off. And it affected how I saw the novel when I first read it. I thought, “Yeah, they’re right; it’s filler.”

At thirty-three, I regret ever thinking Half-Blood Prince is filler. Looking at it again, I have no clue how anyone could’ve thought that about…


Asking for a friend

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I don’t care who you are or how on top of things you claim to be. There is something you’re avoiding right now. Would you be here if you weren’t? A little procrastination wouldn’t draw you here. You’re reading this because you think you have a problem.

You’re not lazy if you procrastinate.

Do you hit the Snooze button one too many times? Do you wait until the last second to finish a project for school or work? Have you had a lot of close calls because of your habits?

Yeah, me too. You and I are wondering the same…


And why I won’t assume people just don’t want to work

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The first thing I noticed before I opened the door was the sign about its changed hours. The Family Diner, like many businesses around the state, struggles to find workers.

I expected the restaurant to be empty. Sometimes, I see loads of people walking in, and other times it looks dead. Today, most of the seats were filled. Michigan restaurants are still running on limited capacity so I couldn’t sit where I felt like. I had to find one without a closed label on it.


Part 5 of rereading Harry Potter in my thirties

A paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
A paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Photo by author

The farther we get into the books, the harder it is to find a topic to write about concerning each book. For example, I considered talking about how the book summed up the US handling of the pandemic, but I couldn’t come up with something that lasted longer than a paragraph.

For the record, Voldemort is COVID-19, Cornelius Fudge is Trump, and Umbridge is every Republican that tried to destroy prevention and vaccine efforts (looking at you, Ron DeSantis.). And Fauci is Dumbledore.

With Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, you know Harry will do something huge. After…


Part 4 of Rereading Harry Potter in my thirties

Paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Photo by Keara Lou

I struggled with figuring out what to talk about with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. So much happened in this book, and like Chamber of Secrets, you can’t avoid its importance, no matter where on your favorites list it is.

One part of me wanted to talk about how this book started Ron’s development as a character. It’s the book where you could see him beginning to reflect on the prejudices he learned as a child. Through the rest of the books, you can see Ron working on his views on House Elves. …


The things we miss from wearing a mask for a year

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I’ve been fully vaccinated for nearly a month as of this article. Lately, I noticed a change in my personality. I’ve gotten smug in my vaccinated state. If someone asks me if I need a mask, I chuckle and say, “Oh, no! I’m vaccinated!” I haven’t had the chance to wave my card at someone who asks if I’m vaccinated yet, but sometimes the thought excites me!

If Garfunkel and Oates are still a thing, there is one song they should update talking about smugness. But, of course, some of you already know what that song is.

Of course, there…

Keara Lou

Forever Middle Child. If you can’t see me, I’m either lost in a book or wandering my world.

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