Friday, November 19, 2010

HARRY POTTER MANIA!

To those who saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 at midnight or are going today: "sshhhh!!!!!!" I'm not going until tomorrow.

HP fans are a rabid bunch. You hear about people lining up for the latest Star Wars movie, but the level of excitement for the final(ish) Potter film is extra special because the hype originated from BOOKS! I know there's this other massively successful series called Sparkly Vampire Goes West or something, but I never experienced waiting on line for those books at midnight, nor have I had to endure a two-hour wait just to see one their movies. So, to me, HP still wins in the fan department.

In honor of Harry Potter weekend, I ask you: What does Harry Potter mean to you? Even if you're not a fan of the series (to which I ask, what!?), you probably have an opinion on something that's meant so much to so many for over a decade. Despite her billions, I wouldn't call Ms. Rowling a sell-out or a Patterson-esque assembly line author. So what can we, as writers, learn from her success?

For those of you who have to wait A WHOLE DAY to see the new movie, here are some fun links to hold you over:

From @jezebel: Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Draco practice their American accents and look adorable doing it.

From @sjaejones: What's your Hogwarts Astrology? I was very happy that my sign (Aries) complimented my favorite house (Ravenclaw) quite nicely!

Finally, in a complete slip of the keyboard, I had originally titled this blog post "Harry Pottery Mania," which made me wonder if Harry Potter-themed pottery exists. What about Harry Potholders? Questions to ponder...

Have a good weekend, everyone! And whether you're getting tired of waiting on line at the cinema or are still struggling through NaNo, remember - CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

14 comments:

  1. Tom Felton kind of rocked at that accent thing. <3 Draco.

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  2. Ha! I love that video!

    What does Harry Potter mean to me? It means my (get ready for the corny) childhood. I started reading them in 2nd grade. I'm part of the generation who grew up with the characters, ages matching movies. I've grown with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and it's been amazing. I'm glad to have had HP become what it has during my childhood/teenage years. Awesome memories with each year, each book, and each movie.

    (ANDOMGYOU'REGOINGTOLOVEITTTTTTTTTTT!!!)

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  3. @KT - Thank you for saying childhood because I was going to write about that. I was 14 when Book 1 came out, so I don't think of the series as something I grew up with, but it did mark the beginning of my love of YA, as weird as that sounds since I was YA-age. I remember being aware that I wasn't the audience (at least w/ Books 1 & 2) and still appreciating the story and the writing.

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  4. I definitely need to jump on the Harry Potter train. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't read ANY of the books, but all four of the "Sparkly Vampire" series. I know, I know. I'm hoping that I'll have enough time over the summer to squeeze in all 7 books. :)

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  5. I am one of the few--the unwashed few--who has not read the books and really wasn't blown away by the movies (although I did think Askaban was good). My wife has read them all, devouring each in a day regardless of length, and I--being the good husband--made the trek to our local bookstore for every midnight release party so she'd have a shiny new copy waiting for her when she woke up.

    And THAT is what made me love the series, even thouh I've never read more than the first few pages of each book. The passion for reading, for pure storytelling, that Rowling ignited in multiple generations is something every writer should applaud, regardles of whether or not the story she told was his cup of tea.

    What does Harry Potter mean to me? That books are not dead, that the youth of America are not slaves to visual media, and that talent and hard work are still rewarded.

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  6. Sorcerer's Stone came out when I was 12 but it took me five years to actually start reading the series. Every one I knew was reading it, which, naturally, made me want to stay as far away from it as possible - an inclination that also saved me from the horrors of sparkly vampires and fake werewolves. My absolute favorite high school teacher decided to assign Prisoner of Azkaban as our first book in 12th grade World Lit, though, and I thankfully discovered that the reason every one I knew was obsessed with Harry was because JK Rowling is kind of amazing. I sped through the first five books and something strange happened while I was impatiently waiting for the sixth - I started to read other books. Classics, sci-fi, literary fiction, nonfiction - really anything that sounded interesting. Though I started reading at a pretty early age, I don't remember ever really enjoying it. If I was forced to psychoanalyze myself, I would have to say it's because my first grade teacher got mad at me for being the only one who knew how to read going into her class. But JK Rowling (and my amazing teacher) changed that, and I will always be grateful. I work at a preschool and even the kindergartners, whose parents probably didn't even know each other yet when Sorcerer's Stone was first published, are obsessed. Their views on Star Wars characters may be a bit off, but at least they can recognize the awesomeness of Harry Potter.

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  7. What does HP mean to me?? I was living in Australia at the time, reading #5 as I rode the train to work everyday. At least 10 others on the train were doing the same thing. Seeing others reading it at the same time made me feel part of something. All of us HP readers on the train would glance at each other and smile. It was magic. haha. When a person spends so much of their time looking forward to something (reading the new book, seeing the new movie) it sort of becomes part of who we are. It's been over a decade since these books came out, and the SAME fans are lining up for the midnight release. It's something the world can agree on (relatively speaking)and it's an exhilarating feeling.

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  8. Oh god so excited! We're going tomorrow morning.

    I think HP may be the all time greatest story, in the sense of how much it changed even our plain old muggle world.

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  9. I would love to sit down and talk to Joanne Rowling for a day and be able to ask a hundred questions. Questions on the top of my list would be: Did you have all seven books plotted out before beginning the first manuscript? Do you outline? (And if I could get away with it) May I read your query letter for Harry Potter? Did you do a synopsis for The Sorcerer's Stone only? How many rejection letters did you receive before you signed with a literary agent? Did you get any?

    Knowing a woman of modest means, like Ms. Rowling, can start out with just an idea she loves and believes in, and can spin that idea into a world-wide success gives me hope for my own writing career.

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  10. We pull out of our driveway in 1.5 hours. I have read each book countless times. JKR is a world building genius and I KNOW how freaking hard it is to world-build...living it now ; ) But most importantly she is a character building genius. Every last character has the proper motivation with well crafted reactions and dialogue and ev-ery-thing. Long live HP.

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  11. I love Harry Potter because of the story world. It starts off as warm an inviting. It always feels like Thanksgiving to me, probably because of the colors and large supplies of food that appear out of no where. It is such a warm story world that even in darker times (the last three books) I'm sucked in. I feel like a member of the wizarding world. It is "magical" what Rowling has created. You know you wrote a good story world when the turn it into a THEME PARK!!! Lol. Can't wait to see the new movie -- going on Sunday. Insert: Happy dance.

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  12. I'm with KM: JK Rowling is the MISTRESS of character-driven storytelling. I feel so lucky that I've been able to experience the books "fresh," before they become entrenched in our culture and everybody knows the whole story before they even pick up book one.

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  13. The American accents was so funny. Draco did the best job.

    I love the excitement generated from these books. And it has to do with pure story, unlike some other books-made-into-movies teen mania you may have mentioned. I hope to see the movie tomorrow.

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  14. I got curious about the Harry Potter pottery myself...

    The Beacon Cinema in Mass is having a "Harry Potter and Pottery" celebration on Sun, the 21 - http://tinyurl.com/2ahp6an (fyi, file is a pdf)

    HP coasters: http://tinyurl.com/24narj8

    And, finally, who wouldn't want a Kreacher coffee mug? http://tinyurl.com/24bmvnx

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