Sunday, July 31, 2011

your runaway imagination

There's a real whopper of a thunderstorm out there. Nature's pyrotechnics always evoke some sort of emotion in me, but tonight my thoughts turned to a certain young boy, in a similar storm, in a hut on a rock, in the sea.

It's Harry James Potter's golden birthday today, turning 31 on the 31st of July, and my thoughts have been with him quite often lately. I know he's a fictional character; I know all of his friends are fiction; and I never had any doubt that the world in which they live, with magic and Hogwarts and mystical creatures, is fiction. But I still consider Harry and his compatriots some of my good friends.

(On a sidenote, I always thought it strange that those kids who grew up reading Harry Potter would be really excited for their eleventh birthday just in case they got a letter from Hogwarts. Letters don't come on birthdays. They come in July. Sheesh, and they call themselves fans!)

It's also author J.K. Rowling's birthday today, which is cool I guess. She created the world and I certainly do love it. The complexity of the characters prompted me to ask my own questions about what their lives would be like, what thoughts we could imagine going through their heads because of the way they act, the kind of people they are "off-page." And I guess it's no secret that I've tried to answer those questions myself. I've been pretty involved in Harry Potter fanfiction in my day. (And whatever. Back when I first started I didn't know there was such a thing and I don't care that it's dumb, lazy, or whatever other pejorative people use to malign the art. I call it practice, and proof of my abiding love. Or something.) Being involved with that also got me some pretty cool friends that I still keep in touch with to this day. Love of the books, of the characters, carries across a broad spectrum.

With the advent of the final movie, and this upcoming birthday, I've spent a little time wondering just why I feel so strongly about these kids. It's not like these are the only great books and great characters I've met lately. (Be sure to come back tomorrow to see what books I read in July.) And you know what? I don't have an answer. Maybe I met them at the right point for them to live in my brain (I was in 7th grade, for what it's worth). Maybe I identify with the characters more than I do others (I, like many other girls in similar situations, was convinced I was Hermione for a long time. Until Hermione became her own character in my mind, which is much more pleasant!). Or maybe I have to obsess over something, and this world has the complexity to keep my interest.

All I know is, after having maybe watched Half Blood Prince and skipping the first half of Deathly Hallows, I cried shamelessly through much of DH pt. 2. Not because the movie was so awesome (I dunno, it was fine) but because seeing it on screen helped me play it out in my mind again, with my characters (I've always been ambivalent about the casting in the movies), feeling the way they must have felt, remembering that these were real fictional people. I knew what was to come, and my heart went out to them. I was surprised at my reaction -- I don't know if you can tell, but I don't even like the movies -- but didn't try to hide it.

Point being, Harry Potter is awesome. The books are better than the movies, and I think I need to read them again, if only for gems like these:
Harry suddenly turned to Ron.

"Charlie," he said.

"You're losing it, too," said Ron. "I'm Ron, remember?"

(Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Chapter 14, "Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback")
Ah yes, so much to make rereading worthwhile.

Title Text: "Radio"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

sometimes she believes it

Oh, I noticed that my blog got hacked. I noticed days ago. But every time I went to make another post to cover it, I didn't have anything to say. And maybe I like people thinking I'm an awesome jumper! And that I am willing to play with people!

Neither of which are necessarily true.

I have been playing softball with my ward lately. People that aren't good at sports understand the slightly pitiful feeling you get when your athletic teammates compliment you on "good" plays. Or nice running. Or hey, way to hit the ball! There was a lot of that, but I brushed it off with my best self-deprecating smile and said, "Thanks," or "Yeah, it was definitely the game-maker." I got that from the opposing team, too, which was worse. Because you always worry that they're secretly making fun of you, right?

Before my first game I surreptitiously looked up the symptoms for retinal detachment, in case I ever get hit in the head with the ball. I'm hoping that if such a thing ever happens to me, I'll be able to calmly say, "Someone needs to take me to the emergency room now, please." (And if I'm lucky, it'll be the truly hunky boy on the other team, impressed with my stiff upper lip, and he'll stay with me the whole time, holding my hand as the doctors prepare me for emergency surgery.)

Ah. See, this is why I try not to write blog posts too often. It gets too stream-of-consciousness and I reveal my secret self. So much for being impressive.

The blog post I was going to try to write had to do with the dozens of books I've read so far this year. I was going to make a little rec list. But looking through my accomplishments, it's a tough job. I like a lot of the books I read. And it depends on the kind of person you are and the kind of book you're looking for. I can usually say which books not to read, but that's kind of a downer list. Hence this post, marginally about softball.

Just don't expect me to do any jumping anytime soon.

"The Tower"

Saturday, July 2, 2011


We think you are awesome! And you are such an awesome jumper! Thanks for playing! Have a lovely day!

Friday, July 1, 2011

I can trace all my books [June 2011]

I've had a lot of blog posts in the wings lately, but I haven't ever gotten around to posting them, or even writing them. Maybe later! It's a new month, and that means it's time for my book roundup!

89. Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn
90.How to Take the Ex- out of Ex-Boyfriend by Janette Rallison
91.The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall
92. Horton Halfpott by Tom Angelberger
93. Crystal Bones by C. Aubrey Hall
94. Sammy Keyes and the Dead Giveaway by Wendelin van Draanen
95. House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones
96. Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen by Wendelin van Draanen
97. Sammy Keyes and the Wedding Crasher by Wendelin van Draanen
98. Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
99. It's a Mall World After All by Janette Rallison
100. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
101. Soulless by Gail Carrigan
102. House of the Star by Caitlin Brennan
103. The Changeling Sea by Patricia McKillip
104. The Moon and the Face by Patricia McKillip
105. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
106. To the Rescue by Heidi S. Swinton
107. The Girl in Blue by P.G. Wodehouse
108. The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch
109. Just One Wish by Janette Rallison
110. A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

Not only that, but we're halfway through the year! And that's stats time!

Total number of books: 110
Number of First-time Reads: 98
Number of Rereads: 12
Average number of books per month: 18.3
Number of nonfiction books: 3
Number of fiction books: 107

I'm almost 3 books ahead of my average at this point last year. But I'm also rereading proportionally fewer books. So that's good. (We needn't mention nonfiction. I'm doing way better this year and that's all I have to say about that.)