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I am sorry that I have been absent for so long (if anyone was looking)…Let’s just say that I hit a speed bump, not a block ūüôā But I do know that the first rule of writing is: Sit Down and Start! and that if at first we don’t succeed, try, try…you get it. So, here I am tired, humbled and maybe a bit more determined. Today is the first day of the rest of my yadayada…
normal_book1jkrfanAnd what a great day in literary history it is! Joanne (K) Rowling was born today, July 31st and she also gave her famous protagonist the same birthday, so some people call this Harry Potter Day. I don’t know if they need their own holiday (?) but it is a good day to apply pen to paper and get back into the flow.
Personally, she is one of my inspirations as far as success stories and admiration of style and skill, as well as, darn it, personality. When I first discovered the Harry Potter books, I was a single mother, struggling through a bad separation and divorce, temporarily living at my parents and waiting tables while also trying to finish my degree and maintain a healthy relationship with my 5-year old son. My British, reading-teacher mother actually bought the books to read to him while I worked dinner shifts, but reading at bedtime was one of our Favorite Things, so one night I read a chapter to him, then could not stop after he fell asleep. I had to go back and start the wondrous journey all over. Despite being tired, stressed and a literature major for goodness sakes, I was enthralled. That was in 2001, the boy is 13 now, and we love all things Harry Potter.
I admit to being a bit of a fan, as in fanatic, when it comes to Rowling and her amazing Wizard World. Hearing her own story only cemented my obsession. {btw: if you have not yet seen the documentary A Year in the Life with JK Rowling, you can view it on the ABC site.¬† i cried. } She was at a low point in her life, divorced with a young child who depended completely on her and an idea for a story that apparently would not leave her head (a feeling I know well). I think that millions of people would agree with me when I say, “Thank God, she wrote it down.”
I believe that her story, both the fictional and the biographical one, epitomize the answer to the struggling writer’s question “Why write?”¬† A: You never know, it may just change the world.

ADDED Aug 7: Since I have been in a Potter mood this summer and the books are always fun to read, I am definitely signing up for this challenge at Galleysmith. If you haven’t read the series yet, well, of course I recommend it! And if you have, then you may want to listen to the audiobooks, which is accepted for¬† the challenge. You have almost a year to complete it and yes, there are prizes. But, of course the biggest reward is the joy of reading, right? ūüėȬ† Sign up by August 15th to be entered for the prize drawings!

I purposefully did not blog yesterday, though I kept thinking about it. A lot, in fact. It’s like I cannot stop now. I have a blogging addiction. I am sure it will not last too long, but I do want to avoid unnecessary blogging. After finishing out November doing both NaNoWriMo and National Blog Posting Month, I decided I should take a day off. But I cannot stop the mindflow, so here I am again. I am sure that I will eventually fall back into my non-pattern of random blogging. I have also been neglecting to add to my novel’s word count, but have not given up the story yet. I am eager, though, after a month of writing and researching, just to read for fun a little more.

I am definitely giving a lot of book gifts this year, especially to the kiddies. We are opening a couple early, because I cannot stand the wait and because I get to open presents for St. Nick’s Day [December 6th]: my British-born mother said so. {We leave out shoes and everything}

beedle_cover

Yes, btw, I am a Potter-head and I am still po’d about the Half Blood Prince film debut getting changed from November 21st to July ’09 [apparently they did not want the wizards to compete with the vampires or something]. And I need a fix. So, tomorrow I will be picking up a couple of copies of the latest gift from J.K. Rowling. I look forward to some relaxing indulgence, but I still want the one with the cool cover. Apparently Amazon has a limited number of collector’s edition remakes (not handcrafted by Rowling). Unfortunately that hundred dollar book will have to remain on my “I Wish” list.

I am happy that this particular work will delve a bit further into Rowling’s wizarding world, as in further back in the cultural history. The “Tale of the Three Brothers” you may recall, figured significantly in the last book of the series as a cross between children’s tale and clue-filled legend. Even then, I desperately wanted to read what they were reading. I still wish she would do “Hogwarts, A History” for us nerds.taleofthreebrothers

There are, of course, lots of events and hoopla surrounding the release beginning at midnight. If you live in NYC, or visit in the next month, you can view one of the original books at the NY Public LIbrary. You can get better info from the best wizard blog The Leaky Cauldron and well, pretty much all over the web. The best part about the book is that proceeds will benefit the Children’s High Level Group, which is the group Rowling helped found to aid European children, particularly those in the Eastern war-torn countries. So, I can feel good about my indulgence.

jkrowling_romania1

 I am working on linking this blog over to NaBloPoMo and now I have noticed that my NaNo wordcount widget has been hijacked. I am having a bit of struggle managing my media and links, but am hoping that is going to be one of the promised changes coming to WordPress soon. I really want to be writing my novel rather than dealing with HTML which is a foreign language to me. More kudos to the programmers who do all the work for us!

NaNoWriMo is so busy I can’t get to many pages today, but I did read their recent blog and thought I’d share. Chris Baty is actually discussing just how busy their server gets as NaNoSeason rolls in and shares some stat shots. As you can imagine, it grows every year. I know they have a brand spanking new one this year when they are anticipating the busiest, biggest year yet. I’m crossing my toes for luck. [My fingers are obviously busy :)]

I have been looking at the stats here¬†more too, now that I have been blogging regularly again, which is something I did not really think I would care about when I started.¬†This still is a personal project for myself, in that¬†I do not expect to gain anything from my blog except some more writing skills and some peace of mind. Lucky me, I have also made some friendly connections, with other writers and bloggers, and activists and even learned a thing or two. Still, it’s fun to look at the stats and pings too;) It’s like a virtual pat-on-the-back, or the plus-mark on a teacher’s checkmark. Gives you a reason to keep going.

¬†It is amusing {or very sad} that my Most Viewed¬†[through searches]¬†post is a short, silly one I wrote about the auction of J.K. Rowling’s hand-crafted copy of Tales of Beedle the Bard. Just goes to show how much impact she still has on the literary culture as well as the “Interwebs”. So happy to report that we¬†Muggles do get to read them in December, though the cover is not nearly as cool as the original. Still, it will be a fun read after a month of writing.

 

[Update: HEY! My widget’s back in play. Can’t wait to see if i get past zero!]

rowling book on amazon

but alas I don’t have 1,950,000 pounds or dollars…and i don’t know Ms. Rowling [yet]… This is the handmade copy [1 of 7] of The Tales of Beedle the Bard¬† which amazon won in an auction for The Children’s Voice Campaign, a charity she helped found. She personally wrote and illustrated all seven copies which is in a word, awesome. Fellow Potter-heads may recognize the title which played a key role in the series.¬†I always wanted to read some of those books¬†Hermione was always sucking down (especially Hogwarts, A History and The History of Magic- hint).¬†¬†

It’s all very hush-hush, though we can read story summaries on amazon, but man, I’m curious and need a Rowling fix,¬†so i can just hope she relents and publishes it for us plebes, the readers. Of course, they could never get that cool cover mass-produced to sell at Waldens…

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