Catching Up

The weather acts like it’s April, but without robins and flowers. It’s been a dull, confused season.

Still, I’ve been trying to work a bit on Rattman Road, last year’s NaNo novel–well, I’ve been taking notes and organizing things, at least–and have resumed my Harry Potter readings, carefully making my way through Sorcerer’s Stone at the moment.  Not many surprises there… not that I expected there to be. It’s just fun to be back in the HP world, even a little.

Ever since the last movie was released, it seems that fandom has fallen into a bit of a slumber. (Me, too.) A few writers are still are still prolifically posting fics, thank heaven! I keep toying wth the idea of finishing a few stories, but all I do is re-read them, tinker, and decide they aren’t ready.

A dull, confused season indeed.

Quotable

“In reality, every reader, as he reads, is the reader of himself.”–Marcel Proust

 

If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it now….I love Proust. I am so sad that I am nearing the end of his amazing À la Recherche du Temps Perdu. It’s not quite as long as the Harry Potter saga, so don’t be intimidated, HP fans! But it is exquisite, especially for those of you (and me) who aspire to write.

Over the years it has taken me to read the novel, I have collected about 8 pages of favorite quotes, but the one I found today I may like best. It’s a truism perhaps, but as a beta, I am constantly running into the widely differing visions my fic writers and I have of the very same, solid, printed books authored by JK Rowling. Perhaps it is those individual visions, with their intimate glimpse of the soul beneath, that makes me love the business of the beta. And writers, perhaps you will want to take Proust, the crowned King of Procrastinators, as your patron saint. Of course, you won’t know how true that is until you read these books.

Pick up Proust

Restoring My Faith in Government

The life of a temp is never dull!

A passing co-worker stopped by my supervisor’s cubicle to talk about books, of all things: their backlogs of To-Read books, their love of re-reading books, which then became the Harry Potter books… Of course I couldn’t keep my nose out of that!

It was not at all what I expected from a DoD-funded research center….

Drawing

ronbig Ron half ron

Another Rupert-as-Ron from a Deathly Hallows 7.1 photo. What I really need is to sketch from live models, from real people hanging out, but I’ve got this annoying cough and it just isn’t nice to go amongst the throngs when I’m all yuck, so…

Yeah, photos don’t really complain a lot. They’re so nice that way.

Yet another scribbly sketch with markers. I’m still not perfectly pleased, but there are some things here I like, so I’m adding a detail.

 

Drawing

Fireside Fireside - detail

Another sketch from last evening, not quite as scribbly as the one of Ron. Markers and a bit of digital manipulation. It feels good to get a chance to draw a bit.

Drawing

A scribbly sketch with markers, Prismacolor pencils, and a few touch-ups. I still think the poor lad looks a bit wall-eyed, but that is merely my lack of skill. Or practice—I don’t draw nearly enough anymore. Still, I’m a little fond

Tides

Started reading Proust again, which might explain why I decided to post a “memory” story. This is actually the first Harry Potter fanfiction I wrote two years ago, but I hope you will still find it worth reading.

Summary: Twenty years later, Ron thinks back upon the events at Malfoy Manor.

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To Kindle Fire

That moment when you know… I’ve been meaning to post this story for some time. It’s a bit of Harry Potter fanfic I wrote it over a year ago to make a Charlie fan smile—here’s hoping it does the same for you.
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Anatomy of a Scene

For those of you who enjoyed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows–Part 1 (and still can’t get enough), here is a link to a New York Times interactive feature in which director David Yates discusses his technique for creating tension and danger in the coffee shop scene.

Some of these elements did register with me even in my first, emotional experience of the film–like the frequency of hand-held camera and the unease that produced–but a lot of it didn’t. And I was a film student once, long ago! Also, thanks to my tediously slow dial-up account, the fact that the scene paused every few seconds gave me a really good view of the blocking. There are some great shots here.

I get excited when I think of how film technique can translate into writing, and I’m reminded just how big a toolbox there is to play with.

Harry Potter Overheard

Unlike the majority of Potter fans, I began reading the books after I was 40. At the moment, though, I am working at a University and am happily surrounded by much younger people, kids who grew up with these books.

As I ate my lunch today in the Third Floor lobby of the funky-cool Gates Center, the comfy chairs crammed together because of work being being done at one end of the room, I was party to the conversation of five students hanging out together before class. I was busy taking notes for my NaNo novel, so I’m not sure what they had been talking about before my brain caught “…but that’s the one Dumbledore dies…” and I realized I was the uninvited guest of a conversation that interested me very much. Four young men and one young woman all had read the books, loving them more or less until the final volumes. A chubby Neville-ish boy was the only one who liked the Epilogue; few of them were enthusiastic about the last two books. It was a high-level discussion really, a good deal above some of the muck I read on various forums around the ‘Net.

Two things were plain to me: First, that the Harry Potter experience was ubiquitous to their group, and second, that it was still important to all of them, enough so that three years after its conclusion, they still wanted to discuss plot, genre, author options, and such reader expectations as surprise and a need (or not) for closure. No ship discussion at all.

The conversation segued to Roald Dahl, grade school book reports, odd roommates and Sir Francis Drake. I had to get back to work.

I love working at a University.