Friday, July 20, 2007

How'd She Do That?

I finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night. Just in time to pick up my copy of The Deathly Hallows. Jenny and I have a date to get together and discuss on Sunday.

In rereading the series, I was struck over and over by the sheer enormity of it. That Rowling knew when she started that she wanted to do seven books. That she dropped hints about things happening in books five and six back in books one and two. And usually with what seems like a throw-away line. That she's allowed her characters to grow and change, not just because they're growing up but because of the things they've been through.

D.B. and I were talking about the inherent joys and constrictions of starting a series. She has two in the works. The common opinion is that your characters can't really change in the course of a series. The readers don't want these people they love to change. But Rowling belies that 'wisdom'. Maybe D.B. doesn't have to worry so much about allowing events, and the years, change 'the guys' in HM or DnD in DnD.

Fair warning: this won't be my last post about Harry Potter or Jo Rowling. I doubt the one I'll write after reading book seven will be the last. Don't worry, I won't post any spoilers. But my admiration and respect for this particular writer won't go away just because the series is over.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Comfort Zones

I just realized that I haven't posted since Monday. Still no Yahoo! Still making do with shout-outs on comments and using work email (which I hate to do). Frustration mounts.

I haven't written anything on TNN, although it is rolling around in the back of my brain. Which is a big part of writing and I don't downplay the importance of the gestation period. But I want to be putting words on paper, so to speak.

As much as I hate to admit it, I believe I need to take Ali's challenge to heart. Not just the idea of analyzing and writing poetry, but her challenge today to 'step out of the comfort zone'. I have done it in the past--a fantasy story about a mermaid comes to mind--and it has energized my writing. I could argue that TNN is outside my zone because it's set in the present with a teenage male protagonist. Never written anything like that before. But it's still mainstream fiction. Essentially women's fiction because it's about what happens to his sister, but through his eyes. On the surface, it sounds very different from MMG, but it's very much in the same ballpark. Or shelf space.

Realistically, I probably won't get much done through the weekend. I'm finishing the sixth Harry Potter book tonight. Tomorrow night is a gathering of at least part of The Group. Then I'll pick up the final Potter book on the way home and spend Saturday reading. Sunday, I meet Jenny to discuss. But next week seems wide open for some experimentation and making myself uncomfortable. Sounds a little masochistic.

Monday, July 16, 2007


I can't believe how dependent I've become on email. For some reason my Yahoo! account got all buggered up over the weekend, and I can't log on. I'm going through withdrawal. For any friends who've tried to contact me since about 4:00 on Friday afternoon: I'm not ignoring you. I'd love to answer. But I can't.

Jenny or Ali, if you could send a quick note to our common lists explaining that I may be incommunicado for a while, that would be great.

I guess I could blame Yahoo! for my not writing because I keep checking to see if I can log on. And checking my work email to see if tech support has answered.

Oh, bother!