Thursday, July 31, 2014

Happy Birthday, Harry Potter!

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

But I'm trying. Has it really been a month since my last post? Yeesh. I'd promise to do better, but let's face it: I'll probably do this again. I'm hoping this short post (because it will be short) will kickstart me into posting regularly again.

First off, the news: I sent my middle grade novel into the Utah Original Writing Contest and it passed all the basic formatting checks, so I'm in on that. I'll hear results in September and will report them to you, my readers. All 12 of you. I also attended the Books for Young Readers Symposium and met writers like Maggie Stiefvater and Nathan Hale. It was a good two day conference that didn't drain me but exposed me to what some good writers had to say about their craft. And, like always, I got inspired to write more.

I haven't gotten angry over books lately, except for the whole Fifty Shades of Grey thing. I'm against book burning; I think that although no book is perfect the vast majority of books have some redeeming value (Twilight included). However, should the zombie apocalypse come and I'm in need of toilet paper, I have my option picked out.

That was rude. But I meant it. Stay tuned for future rant.

Anyway, today is July 31st, otherwise known as Harry Potter's birthday. I went to a party celebrating it at a local restaurant and had a pint of butterbeer (it comes in pints).

(It didn't look this nice, but it tasted great)

So, here at least, there is a real party celebrating the birthday of a fictional character. J.K. Rowling, please accept my awe and admiration.

So here it is: instead of talking at you, like I normally do, I want to ask you why you think Harry Potter has made such a splash. Is it cross-cultural details (aka, Americans finding boarding school life fascinating), the development of a world (Quidditch, butterbeer, and other elements that can be pictured and recreated in our world, along with jargon like "muggles"), the characters, the plot, and politics...what is it? Every time I think about it, I have a new idea. Please, if you want to weigh in, post your thoughts below. If we can figure out what is working in the Harry Potter books, I think we'd all become better writers.

Mischief managed.