Tag Archives: book worm

Speaks To Me Sunday #73

1 Jan


I am a girl who maps out situations and stories. When I make plans about the future, I vividly imagine how things will turn out. What I will say, how others will respond, where we will be, how the whole scene plays out right down to the happy ending. It’s the way my mind works. It can be fun, but it can also be heartbreaking when things don’t go as planned. Especially when some of my plans are actually desires that I don’t have total control over. My stories get sunk, and I am left feeling disappointed, desperately trying to write a new one. 

January 1st, 2017 has not played out how I envisioned. I have spent some time today feeling defeated. I wanted a grand start to this new year! Wouldn’t that be a story to tell?! Well, it’s not my story today. 

And I felt bereft. Like something was taken from me. 

I was still feeling down when I got home from work, and I found a present from the sweetest husband in the world. (This is the second year in a row he has surprised me with a New Year gift… I’m liking this tradition. πŸ˜‰ Thank you, Babe!) He reminded me that it’s not too late to start 2017 in the right way. (In fact, it’s never too late to start again, in my opinion.)

And truthfully… 

 Maybe the problem isn’t with the story. Maybe it’s me that needs a little change. Maybe I need to let go of my imaginary pen. Maybe I need to let the moments come as they may. Maybe I need to live in them. Maybe I need to trust that God, the most incredible author of all, will write my story… the same way he has for the last 28 years. Maybe I need to say YES to that. 

So, this year I am saying YES…

To living in the moment

To embracing the unexpected

To new adventures

To listening more completely

To releasing what I cannot control 

To loving others better

To being grateful for the wonderful story of my life, written by the creator of all things. 
What are you saying YES to this year?!

Side note: I have yet to read the book, but I’m feeling inspired by it already. I’ll let you know how it is! I love me some Shonda Rhimes. ❀ 



Speaks To Me Sunday #59

31 Jul


And Happy Birthday, Harry Potter! 

I just had to celebrate by making my Speaks To Me Sunday quote one from the Wizarding World. These might be the truest words ever spoken. There is something incredibly powerful about words. I am so incredibly grateful for the many wonderful words I’ve had the opportunity to devour over the years. Words that challenge me, bring tears to my eyes, incite me to laughter. Words I have to look up, words that stay with me long after I turn the page. It truly is magic. 

Some of my favorite words will always be those of J.K. Rowling, and I am super excited to be reading something new of hers now that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is out! Harry Potter meets theatre? Sounds perfect for this girl. 

What are your favorite words?!

Twitter and Instagram: @JoannaHackman


Speaks To Me Sunday #57

17 Jul

Dan and I have been making a lot of decisions lately. Man, decision-making can be tough, right? Not knowing what the future holds… It can certainly create doubt, worry, and fear. 

I have worked too hard over the last few years to overcome my proneness to fear to let new worries consume me. I refuse. And I am really stubborn. 

Right now I am loving this quote from one of my favorite literary characters. Hagrid sure is wise on occasion. I can’t stop the future from coming – even if I feel unprepared. So, why borrow trouble by focusing all my energy on what’s coming? Worry is such a waste. It’s time to focus on each day as it comes. One day at a time. If I am lucky enough to get tomorrow… I’ll meet it when it comes. 


Speaks To Me Sunday #42

6 Mar


I was eleven years old when Harry Potter entered my life. I always thought it was kind of special that we were the same age when we started our journey together. Not only that, we grew up together. As I got older, so did Harry. I was eighteen when the final book came out, and I cried reading the last part of J.K. Rowling’s dedication page: “And to you, if you have stuck with Harry until the very end.” That’s me. Always.

This story… The books, the movies, the characters, the adventures will always be my favorite. If I drew like a kindergarten version of my heart with all my favorite things getting their own weirdly shaped section, Harry Potter would get a pretty big oblongish piece right near the middle. Totally unashamed to say it. And neither are most “Potterphiles.” I love that this has become such a phenomenon and that so many have found magic in more than just the spells in these stories. This is a series with staying power and a fandom with passion. 

I have seen and experienced this first hand as Universal Studios Hollywood prepares to officially open the gates at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The soundtrack to the films underscores each marvelous moment – the tears running down the cheeks of diehards like me as they stare up at Hogwarts, the creamy white Butterbeer mustaches on faces around every corner, the joyful laughter of a young witch or wizard as they complete spells with their new wands… Not to be cliche, but what a magical time it is to work for Universal. I feel so lucky to see so many lifelong dreams come true, and even luckier that one of those dreams is mine. 

Any other Harry Potter fans out there?! Maybe you have another series you’re obsessed with… I want in! Tell me all about it. 

Comment below or share with my me on Twitter or Instagram: @JoannaHackman.



Favorite Five Friday (136th Edition)

19 Feb

Friday and I’m feeling good! Actually, I’ve barely known what day it was this week. So, Friday and it’s quite a surprise. πŸ˜‰ Here’s what’s goin’ on…


1. It’s Oscar Season! Some of the most talented folks I know got together and put all the Best Picture Nominees to music. This might sound familiar because it’s our third year running. Every time things get a little crazy, but the amazing minds behind the scenes always come through in the end. It was a dream come true to play one of my favorite actresses, Rachel McAdams, for her role in Spotlight. So, I guess I’m playing Rachel McAdams playing Sacha Pfeiffer. That’s complicated – ha! Anyway, it was fantastic. The finished product is pretty great. Please check it out and share!

2. Valentine’s Day is not exactly our thing. #OhThoseHackmans aren’t necessarily opposed. We just don’t feel like it has to be celebrated to the extreme. Not to mention, you think of getting flowers for the occasion, and our kitties have made that pretty much impossible. (They’re naughty). But this Valentine’s Day was perfect. Dan worked in the morning so I got a little me time… So needed! I got to workout, read, watch some shows, do some cleaning. It was all pretty refreshing. That afternoon I was off to meet Dan at Universal. The Wizarding Worls of Harry Potter does not officially open until April 7th. However, there have been sporadic tech rehearsals happening for this themed land. No guarantees, just the possibility of a little magic. Well, that’s exactly what we got. As soon as we entered the gates, I started to cry. It was everything you want it to be and more. We shopped at Honeydukes, stopped by the Owlery, peeked into Ollivander’s, strolled the streets with mugs of frozen Butterbeer, and stopped by the Three Broomsticks for some delicious English Fare. We also rode a sweet little coaster called Flight of the Hippogriff, and we explored Hogwarts Castle as we waited for our turn on Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey – which might be the most incredible ride I have ever been on.  I cannot get over just how immersive this world is. It was hard to believe we were still at Universal when we left Hogsmeade behind. I am still blown away by this wonderful experience. I can’t wait to go back – there is still so much wonder to find.

 3. New hair means new headshots! I had a blast getting some great looks with Kat Tuohy. She’s an awesome photographer with an ability to set you at ease and make you laugh. I love the shooting environment she sets up. You can’t beat natural lighting in Santa Monica. I’m still working with my agent to pick some official shots, but here’s a few favorites. 

4. Guys. The third book in the Red Rising trilogy is out, and it rocked my world. For the second year in a row we went to Book Soup to meet the author, Pierce Brown, and have him sign our copy of Morning Star. Get this, he is so awesome that he remembered us. And he signed out book to “Oh Those Hackmans.” Love that guy. Love his stories. Love that we now have a signed copy of each of his books. Such a nerd, such a Fangirl. Morning Star was the perfect end to Darrow’s story. No details, no spoilers… The book is too new. But read it. I’m already itching to begin again.

 5.  Jimmy Fallon is back in Los Angeles!! I love that he’s made this a yearly thing. We got lucky again this year, and ended up with tickets to the show. We saw JLo and Jay Leno – saying their names out loud together makes me laugh. Snoop was supposed to be there, but apparently got stuck on the 405 and never showed up. L.A. is a crazy place, y’all. Especially when it rains. Jimmy handled the whole thing like a total pro – never missed a beat. He was as kind and charming as you’d hope. Man, I love that guy. Watch The Tonight Show… It’s awesome. And maybe one day you’ll see one of us up there with Jimmy Fallon. 😊


I hadn’t realized what an awesome week I had until I wrote this. And that’s exactly why I have this blog. Thankful for such a great week. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Friday!

Favorite Five Friday (133rd Edition)

22 Jan

January is almost over. How is that possible? You know what they say, time flies when you’re having fun…


1. First Disney trip on the year! We got together with our besties and made our way to Anaheim for an adventure. It was even more of a treat when we realized all six of us had gone to Disney together on the same date the year before. In honor of the occasion, we recreated our Space Mountain photo… it’s pretty impressive. The parks weren’t too crowded and the weather was perfect. Nothing better than the Happiest Place on Earth with the coolest people around.


2. A couple years ago I stumbled across a book called Red Rising, and it blew me away. The author, Pierce Brown, had just landed on the scene… and he was killing it. I was so impressed by his storytelling ability and the characters he brought to life. Also, it’s Sci-Fi meets Fantasy which is completely up my alley. I became obsessed with this book, and I made everyone I know read it. (Be honest. I did you a favor!) The best part was, there were going to be two more! A trilogy. I love getting hooked on a good series. And hooked I was… make that am. I am hooked. A year after the first book, Pierce Brown knocked me over with Golden Son. Dan and I became such fans that we even went to a book signing to meet Pierce. He is awesome, by the way. Dan wants to be his best friend. Golden Son might just be better than Red Rising, and it that’s true… I can’t even imagine what book three will be like. I won’t be waiting much longer! Morning Star will be released the second week of February! I’ve been getting ready for it by rereading the first two, and man, do they stand up. SO GOOD. If you have not read these books, do yourself a favor and get on that. And lucky you… you won’t even have to wait a year for the next one. πŸ˜‰ I can’t wait to get my hands on Morning Star and see where this beloved trilogy ends up. You better believe the Hackman’s will be buying two copies. Ain’t nobody has time to wait around while their spouse reads the book first. πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰ We will see you soon, Pierce! Also, be gentle… I’m a little scared for what’s to come.


3. Thanks for all the Christmas love, family! Because of you I was able to get myself a new Nook. πŸ™‚ I received my first one as a college graduation present from my awesome Aunt Jill, and have used it to death. Literally… it barely holds a charge anymore. It was time for a new one! I love reading from a good old fashioned book with paper pages, but, y’all… I love my Nook. It’s so awesome to have a little library I can just carry around with me. It also makes it easier to read at night after I’ve taken out my contacts. Lying on your pillow with glasses on is just obnoxious (can I get an amen?!), but with the Nook, I can adjust the lighting and the font so I can see. Pretty darn great. I swear I wasn’t paid to write this… But I really do love my Nook!

4. We got a membership to the YMCA. I love it. It’s so nice having a place to go and work up a sweat. Especially one that’s right around the corner! So convenient. I had been getting a little lax in my work out routine, but I am proud to say that so far this year, I’ve hit the gym at least 4 times a week. Not too shabby. But I’m only getting warmed up (see what I did there?) It’s time to kick it into gear and make 2016 my strongest and healthiest year yet! 

5. Guys. My husband is awesome. Today he did laundry and made me a delicious (and healthy) dinner. And he is waiting patiently while I finish this so we can watch some more DareDevil (it’s great). He’s pretty cute. And I’m pretty lucky. I think I’ll keep him. πŸ˜‰


Make this the best week of 2016 so far!

Happy Friday!

Favorite Five Friday (131st Edition)

8 Jan

Hey y’all! I hope 2016 is off to spectacular start. I took a couple of weeks off Favorite Five Friday for the holidays, but it’s time to hop to it. Here’s what’s been going on since then…


1. Christmas! It came and went as it does every year. I always love that Christmas is never just a single day. It’s practically a month-long celebration (which is the perfect way to close out a year, if you ask me). This year we had to do things a little differently since we were going to be in Hollywood for the holidays, but we created some great memories. We continued some of our favorite traditions: Christmas Eve included a candlelight service, Denny’s (“It’s an American Institution!”), and new jammies from my mom and dad (Mine were Star Wars, Dan’s were Marvel). And while we had to head to work on Christmas, we still made the most of our morning with cinnamon rolls and a few gifts. We also got to watch out kitties go crazy for catnip. Okay, Lemon went crazy. Jack didn’t care so much. Work was fine. I’m so glad I work with people who I enjoy spending time with. It was sweet and very appreciated when people thanked us for working so that they got to come enjoy Christmas at Universal. After we clocked out, first things were first (I mean literally. We did this as soon as we got to the car).Β It was time to jump into Aunt Jill’s Puzzle Box Competition. This is a big deal in our family. Every year she finds crazy boxes, and we have to solve the puzzle to get our gift. We are pretty competitive. It got a little scary for a few minutes, but we all still like each other. πŸ˜‰ Then we were off to celebrate with an Italian feast, singing carols at the piano, and decorating ornaments with generous friends who opened their home to us. We ended the night by watching The Santa Claus while we finished opening gifts. It really was a lovely day with lot of phone calls, texts, and love from family and friends that we couldn’t be with. It was a different sort of Christmas, but it was ours.

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2. Β God With Us.Β I already wrote a whole post about this, but this thought struck me so particularly this Christmas. Ultimately, it didn’t matter that I couldn’t do everything the way I wanted… It wasn’t about me. It was about the birth of my savior who came to earth for us. To be with us. It truly doesn’t matter where I am, He will meet me there. Christmas really is about the good news. God is with us.

3. We had super fun New Year’s Eve. We started off grabbing dinner in Burbank with the besties, and then we were off to L.A. Zoo Lights. They totally deck out the Zoo with gorgeous lights. Dan and I had never been, but we definitely want to go back. We had a really good time wandering around with our mittens and assortment of warm drinks. After the zoo, we went home to get fancy for a dressed up count down with a bunch of our friends. The hosts planned a great party, and we had a champagne toast and lots of confetti to ring in 2016.

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4. New Year, new start! I feel like 2016 may be the most exciting year yet, and I am fully planning on leaning into it. My theme, my focus for this year is JOY. To choose joy no matter the circumstances. There is just too much to be grateful for to spend a day without joy. What’s your theme?!

5. It has to be said. I just spent three and a half months immersed in Diana Gabaldon’s OutlanderΒ series. There are eight books so far, and, averaging them out, each book is about 1,200 pages. I adore these characters, I’m fascinated by their lives. To top it off, it’s a book that includes historical fiction, fantasy, and time travel… sign me up. This series has made itself a home on my list of favorites. Now, it’s time to watch the show and hope it lives up to my very snobbish and high expectations. πŸ˜‰

Happy Friday and Happy New Year!