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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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11243470_10102047668403458_2667479449231852400_nI love Harry Potter. This is common knowledge. I own trading cards (the kind that come with chocolate frogs). I went to see the movies at midnight on opening night and wore an HP T-shirt. I own every book and every movie and I’ve been to that magical place that is the Wizarding World at Orlando and I could have cried.

SO….of course I would read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. On a particularly rough day I was having recently, my sister showed up at my house with goodies for me, in the way of Tea Time magazines, a caramel Frappuccino…and the new Harry Potter book. Oh heavens. It’s the kind of deliciousness that makes you spend days reading while your children crawl all over you and remind you that they have to eat. Back in the olden days (pre-kids) I would have sat up and read that thing all night. These days, however, it takes longer. But I’ve finished and I want to TALK about it.

I will admit I had fears. First of all, I’m not big on reading scripts. I was in a screenwriting class in college for two days before I had to drop it and take something else like Southern Fiction. I’m fiction all the way. BUT this is an amazing script and reads like a novel. I wish it were a novel, to be honest, with details and all that good stuff. But it was really, really good. Second fear: some of the things JK has said about the characters post the perfection of Deathly Hallows has made me not excited. Like Ron’s two different jobs and Ginny off in the Quidditch Olympics forever, and the one time she said something like Harry probably should have ended up with Hermione (WHAT? Not even.). Sooo, I was a teeny bit afraid that Harry would be pining after Hermione and Ginny would be off playing Quidditch and so on.

But. Sigh. This was JK in her best form ever. It was truly a wonderful companion to the novels and I loved every second. It. Was. Magic. To be back in that world. To see Snape (one of my favorite characters). To see the adorableness of Ron and Hermione being Ron and Hermione. To see the connection between Harry and Ginny and what that looks like in a grown-up marriage. To get to know Albus and Scorpius. The threat of Voldemort–the hurting of the scar–I was so captivated.


OK, spoiler situation. Read the book before continuing on.

I can’t help asking… who is the cursed child? Was it Albus? Cursed by Harry’s fame? Or Scorpius? Cursed by the rumors of his birth? Or Delphi? Cursed for being who she is? I was just a little sad to know that Albus was a Slytherin, but at the same time, it fit. He’s named after Severus as well and he’s a little of both. And Harry chose Gryffindor–what if the hat had meant to put him in Slytherin? Harry understands the dark side better than anyone and he’s seen the bravery and courage on both sides. Again, I loved seeing Snape, even in an alternate universe. Because he’s the same–spiteful and annoyed and choosing sacrifice anyway. He’s such a multi-faceted character. I LOVED hearing from Dumbledore, even from the paintings. He was still so…Dumbledore. I wanted to cry. Hearing both Draco and Ginny admit to having been jealous of the friendships of the other three felt so real and true–of course they would. The bond between Harry and Ron and Hermione was and is one that is enviable. And when you live through something like that together, I think pieces of you forever are knit to each other. Like the Lord of the Rings characters. Such a journey never leaves you, right? Seeing Draco have to work together with Harry and the others was great. He always seemed to be someone who never quite found himself. And when Harry says that he never goes it alone–that he always has help–oh gosh. That was Harry Potter. The boy who lived. Who needed Hagrid and Dumbledore and the Weasley’s and Hermione.

Oh. It still makes me cry. What a gift those stories are. I told Ashtyn that I think we’ll start reading book one together this year. She’s so excited because she’s been to the Wizarding World and had a taste of that magic.

She has no idea what true magic is to come with reading those books. Thank you, JK Rowling!th910RV9QZ







Losing Things and Building a Library

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So, you know that feeling of losing something? A few weeks ago we were cleaning out the garage for a garage sale and I stumbled across an old photo that I thought was lost forever. I was beyond happy to find it.

Then I lost it again.

Unbelievable, I know. I’ve been berating myself for days and trying like mad to remember what I did with it, but to no avail. It’s gone again. I had it for a few minutes, and now it’s gone again. How is that even possible? I’ve searched high and low and it’s absolutely nowhere to be found. I’d come to terms with this fact a really long time ago, when I realized it was gone forever. But then I had this spark of unexpected happiness when I saw it again. And for the life of me, I can’t remember what I did with it. I was in the middle of going through stuff for the garage sale . . . and what else can I say? I have no idea where it went. I’m trying to let go of the frustration, but obviously–I’m still frustrated.

I try not to usually let things like this get to me. Most things are replaceable. A DVD gets scratched–you can buy a new one. You spill something on a favorite book–Amazon is there for you. I once lost one of my favorite sandals at a writers conference. I got home and unpacked and only had one sandal. Very devastating, but I got over it. But this was a really old picture that wasn’t saved on the computer. Not the worst thing in the world, but certainly not replaceable.

So what things can you live without and what things are absolutely irreplaceable? People are irreplaceable, obviously. And in some cases (stuff like old photos), things are irreplaceable. Family heirlooms are irreplaceable. I have a special tea set from my grandmother that is absolutely precious to me. It’s irreplaceable. But mostly, when I think of irreplaceable things in my life–I think of people.

Still, it irks me to no end that I found that photo and then lost it again. Seriously. Annoying. Today I told myself that I have to let this go. I was fine for years, when it was lost before. I’ll be fine without it again. But do you understand that horrible feeling of having lost something? It can make you crazy. All right, moving on.

Today was a sister day. Sara and I went to lunch (I was craving queso like you wouldn’t believe), then we went shopping. Then I came home and finally got to watch that movie about JK Rowling on Lifetime. I’m telling you, JK Rowling’s fairytale story is just inspiring for any writer. I am so inspired by her. Sara and I were book shopping today and talking about building up our personal libraries. Ever since Jeff and I moved into our new house, I’ve been trying to fill these great bookshelves in our office. But I ended up taking out a lot of books that I have that don’t mean anything to me. I decided that I want a library that has books that are special to me, or that I feel are important or helpful for me to have. So I currently have a box of books for Goodwill. Meanwhile, I’m working on this library of mine. I borrow most books I read from the library, but there are some books that I really think I need to have for my own library. So–if you were doing the same thing, tell me, what books would be must-haves for your library? I really want to know. Here are just a few of the books that will be staying on my bookshelves: Harry Potter series, Twilight series, Christy Miller series, Glenbrooke series, The O’Malley series, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Great Expectations, When Heaven is Silent, No Wonder They Call Him Savior, Anne of Green Gables, lots of books by Ann Rinaldi, Traveling Mercies, A Family Apart, Charlotte’s Web, Woe Is I, Uglies, If I Stay, Chateau of Echoes, The Shunning, The Little Prince, What to Expect When You’re Expecting–that’s just the beginning. I’m still working on it.It’s an ongoing project, and I have to tell you, I seriously like this project. 🙂 Buying books? Yes, please.

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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Seriously, I just finished reading the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and I have to tell you that it was awesome. Sort of like Lord of the Flies meets The Lottery. Sara had been telling me about it. I was hesitant to read it b/c it sounded like some book where the kids are all starved and neglected and abused and I have trouble reading that kind of thing and not being disturbed for days. But this book is all about this amazing girl who is so resourceful and smart and manages to hold on to her humanity even when placed in the Hunger Games (brutal, fight-to-the-death kind of game televised live). So I highly recommend this YA book. I’ve heard that Catching Fire (2nd book in the series) is just as good as the first, so I’m looking forward to reading that.

As for the book, Sara and I have been working hard on it. I think we’ve got clear direction on how to wrap up this first book. Once we do that, I’ll tweak the proposal and send it back to the agent to see what he thinks. I definitely think it’s a stronger book with the changes we’ve made. Btw–for all you HP lovers out there, did you see JK Rowling on Oprah yesterday? JK does so few interviews that I love just getting to hear her talk about the series and everything. A lot of it did seem to be basically 2 of the richest women in the world talking about how they deal with their super-wealthy lifestyles–not the most relatable material to cover, but there you have it. But it was great to hear JK talking about Harry and the fact that she’s leaving the door open for writing more about Harry. Whether or not she ever chooses to write about Harry again isn’t that important to me. I feel like Deathly Hallows was the perfect ending to the perfect series. But if she did decide to write Harry’s son’s story or something like that, wouldn’t it be fantastic? I keep hoping Stephenie Meyer will write Renesmee’s story and that it will actually surprise us and Renesmee won’t end up with Jacob. That series wrapped up way too neatly for me. We’ll see, I guess.

Thinking about the ending of Hunger Games and then thinking about Deathly Hallows and Breaking Dawn–it made me wonder about how authors go about creating the perfect ending. I think it must be pretty tricky to write an ending that the majority of people will find satisfying. Obviously, it’s impossible to make everyone happy, but I think it’s a cop-out to just say that and then move forward and create a horrible ending that makes readers furious. Obviously, lots of authors manage to write satisfying endings. On the other hand, do authors need to write in a way that they’re hoping to please their readers? This is complicated. Of course, an author needs to write the story in his or her head. But readers become a part of the story. Without them, you have characters who know one knows about. Characters sitting on a dusty shelf. So once you’ve got readers who follow you and trust you and believe in what you’re writing, to write without any concern for them at all feels wrong to me. It takes both writing the story in your head, and writing in a way that satisfies your audience. I’m not saying that’s easy. In fact, it sounds pretty difficult. But it can happen. Look at Deathly Hallows.  The Hunger Games had a perfect ending to a first-book-in-the-trilogy. You’ve become attached to the characters. The author has created a book with a satisfying ending, while still leaving the way clear for a second book in which we have no idea who the main character will end up with. Excellent. For Sara’s book, I can tell you that we’ve pretty much known how everything will end up from the very beginning. That doesn’t mean things can’t change. If we’re writing, and things start to unravel or things don’t seem to flow or characters who were meant to live now need to die–well, you roll with that and adapt. Whatever it takes to create an ending that’s the very best we can offer. It’s a fun process. 🙂

Well, it’s a lovely Saturday. It’s also time to buy a pumpkin for the doorstep. 🙂 Don’t you just love fall?