When You Need A Bit More Harry Potter In Your Life…

Well, as if I didn’t have enough Harry Potter in my life, they finally launched the long awaited Pottermore.

If you don’t know what Pottermore is (and if you’re any kind of HP fan you should know) here’s the video of Rowling announcing the webpage…

I remember watching this video when it was first released and not only squeaking but also jumping up and down. I was sooooo excited and was bummed it took so long for it to get out of beta testing. 

And honestly, I was not disappointed.

As of right now, you can only explore the first book, with the other books on the way. 

So, what do you do? Well you sign up and are given a user name (want to friend me? I’m NightWizard1517) and then you’re free to explore the book. What’s awesome, if you want to, you can read the book in conjunction with the webpage. Or not. The webpage is interactive and pretty fun. For me, it was a bit boring until I got to the Diagon Alley chapter. Once there you’re given an account at Gringotts and not only get to go shopping, but you also are matched with a wand. 

Later, you get sorted and also learn how to brew potions and cast spells. The better you do on potions and spells the more points you earn for your house. 

But none of that is even my favorite part. What I liked the best is all of the insight that you get to unlock. Rowling has added information about various characters (giving full backgrounds, birthdays, and favorite hobbies) but also talks about her writing process. 

In short, AMAZING.

I have spent so much time playing on the webpage and just exploring, and believe me I still haven’t found everything. 

There were a few things that I didn’t like:

Reading the Books: As you go along you get to collect various text books and whatnot and store them in your trunk. That part is fun. However, I wish you could read excerpts from the various books. And you might be able to and I just don’t know how to do it. 

Sorting: The sorting is super fun. However, what I think would’ve been fun was to see how you ranked in each house. I got sorted into Slytherin (which I was so not expecting) but I’d liked to have seen if I was hardcore Slytherin or slightly more Slytherin than another house.

AND… if all of this wasn’t enough, check out the Pottermore Insider. I haven’t explored it too much but I foresee me spending many hours reading through it. So, take my advice and go play.


Just a quick update!

I’m so glad that so many of you have found the 25 Ways to Be A Better Writer so helpful. It’s been fun to put together and I’ve been learning a lot myself. Look for the next installment next week sometime, probably on Tuesday.

For those of you that have been following this blog for the last several months you’ll know that for my MFA I was working on  a paper that focused on Harry Potter. Since you all were so awesome to put up with my ranting, moaning, and various other Harry Potter posts, I thought you might like to know the outcome.

I got an A!

AND My professor suggested with a bit more revision that it could be publishing ready, so woo! Also, I know that I was pretty hush hush about the focus of the paper on here. So I feel like I can finally reveal what I was working so hard on: I was looking at how the characters of Harry and Voldemort relate to one another in the terms of Jungian critical theory. TADA! 

At the moment husband and I are on vacation (with my parents) and are not only relaxing but having a great time celebrating the conclusion of this past semester. Look for regular blog posts next week as well as the review for Divergent‘s sequel Insurgent.     

Reflections: Harry Potter The End of the Series

At this point I have finished the Harry Potter series, having read nothing else (apart from research) for the most of January and February. I know when I first started I discussed how reading it now was different from reading it when they first came out. I think I have mentioned this before, but I will again. I grew up with Harry. With each new book I was his same age. Harry was a peer and a friend. I found the books amazing and magical (and I sill do, but more on that in a minute). Now, I am different and reading them has been a different experience. So, for this post I thought it might be cool to look at how reading the series has been different this time around, and how it’s been the same


  1. I mentioned this in an earlier post, but I think that my professor is right; the use of magic in this series is almost too easy. No, don’t carry your suitcase when you can just have it levitated up the stairs. Sure, who doesn’t want that choice? But I really like the concept of balance in the magical world. Like in the Wizard of Earthsea books… calling upon the storm to stop tossing your boat around the ocean might just cause a horrific storm elsewhere – somehow that balanced approach to magic makes it a bit more believable. 
  2. I like a lot more of the “minor” characters now. I say minor in quotation marks because in many ways these characters are not minor ones in the least, but they just aren’t major ones. For example: Hagrid (he’ll be getting his own post at some point), Ginny, and even Cho. With the exception of Cho, these characters are just amazing. (Cho I hated when I first read the books, now she doesn’t bother me at all). Ginny and Hagrid give Harry strength and are just such real and well developed characters – I totally overlooked that the first time through. Sure, I liked them, but now I think I love and respect them.
  3. I can’t read an entire book in a day. This probably has more to do with me having a job and reading these books for a paper, but once-upon-a-time I could fly through these books with no sleep and just love it.

The Same

  1. I still cry at the end of books 5 and 6 and pretty much the entire way through 7. I actually had to stop reading the 7th book at my local Starbucks when I was getting close to the Hedwig bit because I knew I would just start crying – and that would be kinda weird in public. 
  2. I still want to go to Hogwarts and study there. I would even consider teaching there. It would be awesome!
  3. I still want to be best friends with Harry, Ron, and Hermione OR Sirius, Lupin, and James
  4. I still hate Umbridge with a fierce passion and find Lockheart super annoying. I think it’s totally because of those two characters that the 2nd and 5th books are my least favorite of the series.
  5. And finishing the series is still like saying goodbye to an old friend. It’s almost like they’ve died – sure you can reread the books and relive the memories (like watching old movies and looking at photographs) but these characters will never do anything new again… and that’s a bit depression.

I don’t know. It’s hard to remember just what it was like reading the books for the first time. All I know is that when I was done with one I was hungry for the next which I would devour as soon as I got my hands on it. It’s not like that now. I think this time through I was looking more for specific things – things that would support my argument of my paper. I was looking more at Voldemort and how he and Harry would fit into this box I’m trying to build.

    I know I won’t do it for a while, but I would love to read these books again and just enjoy them. Read them for fun. I have learned in this process that reading a book you love for school can be almost as bad as reading a book you hate for school. I want to read them and pay attention to how Rowling captivates readers of all ages. I want to see how she makes her characters feel so real and have them grow. Those are the kind of riddles of Harry Potter I want to unravel. 
    I was going to end my post there, but it just didn’t seem right. It seemed as if there was something missing. Something more I wanted to include…. I found this video after I’d written the original version of this post a few weeks ago. Back then I hadn’t finished the series yet and wanted to get some ideas out before I lost them. So, right before posting this I found this clip. Sorry for the quality, but I think it’s a fantastic note to end on.

    Missing: One Blogger/ Creative Writer. Reward if found.

    I promise I haven’t forgotten about my blog. I know it seems like I have, but there just aren’t enough minutes in the day sometimes.

    So, what’s been going on in my life in the past month?


    I finished my annotated bibliography and detailed outline (which wound up being nine pages long and generated a WOW! from my professor) and got them turned in.

    I’ve started writing the first draft of my paper (wish me luck)…

    My life has too much Harry Potter in it… I keep having dreams about it. The one I remember most involves me and my husband being at Hogwarts with Lilly and James and me giving dating advice to Lilly while my husband replaces Wormtail as the fourth member of the group (but doesn’t go all evil…)

    And I’ve been sucked into the Hunger Games world. Yes, I saw the movie friday, finished the second book later that night and then finished the third yesterday. Holy cow. I’m pretty sure that sometime this weekend I overdosed on reading… Husband accused me of huffing literature and it’s true. I can get addicted to certain books.

    Now that I’m done with the Hunger Games I can start having a normal life again, and I’m going to start reading John Green’s latest book The Fault in Our Stars. It promises to be good, so hopefully I’ll stop being lazy and actually post a book review on that one.

    Just wanted to make an appearance… Let you know that I’m not dead (yet). And that there will be more to come.  

    Not A Harry Potter Post

    Here it is! Finally a post that is not about Harry Potter.

    I finished my annotated bibliography and got it turned in. Woooo! I have never written a paper that will (hopefully) be 22 pages. I’m not gonna lie, even though I’m a writer 22 pages of not creative writing is very daunting. However, bright side, my annotated biblee was 5 pages long. That’s right. FIVE FREAKING PAGES! It’s time to take a little breather.

    So sure, even though I’m reading the last HP book, I am taking a break (sorta).

    What’s been going on in the world since I OD-ed on HP?

    Well, (and here’s where the sorta plays in) J.K. Rowling announced her plans for publishing a new book. I’m not aure about you all out there in web-world, but I’m a bit on the fence about this. I’m worried it will be like seeing your favorite actor in the behind the scenes feature on the DVD – it kills the spell that the movie could be real. I’m really excited to see what she does and what else her amazing mind can produce… BUT at the same time, it almost breaks the spell. I will wait to make up my mind when we know more about this new book.

    Also I have realized that I don’t have enough time to read all the books I want to read: The Hunger Games, Cinder, The Fault in Our Stars… not to name all the books I’ve procured over the years that I still haven’t gotten to. But, I think I can make time for some audiobooks… esp when they are handpicked and produced by Neil Gaiman. Why has it taken me so long to find this? Neil Gaiman Presents? Check it out here. Such good fun.

    Thirdly, I can finally access my former college professor’s blog on my home computer. Why did it not work before? I don’t know… BUT, I have a link to it in my blog roll. He always has fun tidbits and news about fantasy, writing, and other things. I really think you should check it out.

    Lastly, Castle had my favorite episode on last night. It was all new and all awesome. Castle + fairy tale characters being murdered = some good monday night fun. Also, the other week Nathan Fillion (Mr. Rick Castle himself) was on Jimmy Kimmel. You can check out both episodes on the network webpage.

    So that’s what I got right now. I have another clip to share with you all, but you’ll have to wait until next time :0)

    Video Tuesday

    Tuesdays are my off days from work. So that equals more time to work on my Harry Potter quest. I apologize to all of you readers whose lives aren’t being inundated with Harry and Voldemort – but mine is and therefore it is leaking over into my blog. I promise that all my posts won’t be about Harry Potter.

    But….tonight’s is! So in honor of finishing my research and finishing reading the 6th book, I am posting my favorite HP YouTube videos!


    This one is a parody of a Super Bowl commercial from a few years ago. Harry Potter: A Google story…

    And this one, just a little music video to get your jam on…

    And how can a Potter Puppet Pal video not get into my top favorite?

    And lastly, this one that made me giggle the entire way through….


    There they are. My top favorite.

    But I will say this. I do not spend epic amounts of time searching YouTube for amazing Harry Potter videos… So, any of you have a favorite HP video? If so, I think you should share –> just link it up in a comment.

    Harry Potter Reflections

    My plan had been to post a reflections post after reading the 4th book… but now I’m a third of the way through the 6th book and I suppose I’ll post my reflections on the books now.

    Yes, I am falling in love with the series all over again, but I still have issues with the books.

    1. Hermione. I adore her. She is brilliant and strong and doesn’t change who she is for anyone. She is muggle born and really kick-ass. So what’s my problem? She’s Muggle born. What about her life before Hogwarts? Didn’t she have friends? I mean I met my best friend in the whole world (apart from my husband) when I was nine. Does she still have these friends? What did she give up (apart from her parents because really, as the series goes on she spends much less time with them and much more time with Ron and Harry and the Weasleys)? 
    2. The Weasleys. I love the entire family. They are awesome. Ginny mostly makes me happy. BUT, didn’t these kids grow up knowing any other wizarding kids? Did they not have babysitters? What is life really like growing up in a wizarding home? We never get to find out.
    3. Dementors mate. Yeah, in the first chapter of book 6 Fudge tells the Muggle Prime Minster that all the mist is due to the Dementors mating. My only question is: how? Is it like asexual reproduction where one just pops off? Or like coral where all the sex stuff is released into the water in a giant cloud. I’m getting the vibe that it’s more like coral and that’s just EW…


    I know why now I cry when I read these books and someone dies (okay I didn’t really cry until the 5th book) but it’s also, I think, what makes these books so awesome. The characters (for the most part) are such real people. I read about James and the relationship with his friends and I think of my Dad and his two best friends from growing up. I read about Hermione and even as an adult I not only relate to her but want to be strong like her. I want to be best friends with Ginny – she’s funny and brave and like Hermione is happy being who she is. Reading about Hagrid and how he’s worried about Aragog dying totally relates to me right now (the dog I’ve had since I was 11 is getting old and I think he won’t be around too much longer). The characters are so real. So when they die, you really do feel like you’ve lost a friend.  

    I found this picture the other day and really… it shows just how awesome Harry Potter can be to readers.

    My deepest hope is that I can write something that will inspire readers (even if it’s just one) the way that these books have inspired the world. I don’t need an eight movie contract or a theme park – I just need to speak to people. JK taught me it’s okay to be poor and write, as long as it’s what you love.

    Harry Potter Overload

    So I’ve been sick this last week. Stupid cold that made me something close to a zombie. It was gross and I will spare you the details. But I assure that I spent the sick time well. I (of course) did my reading; I am now half way through the 5th book. And then I did other productive things, such as watching the extras on the HP DVDs and online window shopping.

    Well I found lots of things I think any HP fan should find amusing if not put on their wish list. Sure, anyone can go to Hot Topic when the movies are due to be released and get all sorts of “fan gear” there. HOWEVER, I would argue that the merchandise I’m about to show you goes to the hardcore fans.

    For the home….

    That’s right. Harry Potter chopsticks. Amaze your friends by busting these twin mini wands out next time you order carry out chinese. Find them here.

    Is the just a prop wand? Oh no. It’s much more than that. This is a wand that controls your tv with just a swish and a flick. That’s right. A universal remote that looks like a wand. Hells yeah… Buy it at one of my favorite online stores (they also have lots of fun Star Wars and Doctor Who gear… thinkgeek.com

    Here is just one way to show your school pride… available for purchase here

    Because if all of our cars flew then the Ministry would have our necks. Best to stick to flying a broom…buy this awesome decal here

    You don’t need to travel by floo to get to work. No, your bathroom has direct access to the Ministry. Don’t forget to  flush

    Easy way to turn on the off the lights… when you can’t find your wand. 

    Fun way to scare your guests after afternoon tea. Here let me read your tea leaves… OH NO! It’s the Grim!

    Clothing and accessories…

    You may notice that I don’t highlight a bunch of shirts, well that’s just because I think it’s the details that make things more fun.
    These Toms come in all house colors. Kick-butt cool fun. Get your kicks here

    I think my favorite shirt. Really, is there more to be said?

    Never forget the wise words of the founders of Hogwarts, keep them on your wrist at all times.

    Dumbledore always know what to say, and how best to say it….

    Because really, isn’t that where we all belong?

    There are tons more other items I could show you. But these will link you to all the best websites – or at least the ones that I check out when I need to get my window shopping fix. I’m just waiting for the next paycheck before I get my Lumos/Nox light switch plate. I would get the mug but  I already have to many for our apartment cabinets. *Sigh* Well, we can all dream…

    Reflections: Harry Potter (Part One)

    Okay, so as of today I am about half way through Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (yay!). I’ve been reading Harry Potter non-stop since mid January and I’m finding it not as easy as I thought it would be. I mean, I FLEW through these books when they first came out. I’m pretty sure I devoured each one within 24 hours of the midnight release.

    It has me thinking, why aren’t these books as good as I remember them being?

    I think I have the answer.

    I’m not the same person I was when I started reading them. I’ve grown-up and began reading other things. My approach to fiction is no long strictly for pleasure – now I look at how the story is crafted, what the writer did to make the characters memorable, how they drove the plot. I look at things like an academic. Has that ruined Harry Potter for me? (Because at the way I’m starting to sound you might think so). But no. I still love the books.

    I have such great memories with these books. When I settled down to start Goblet, I remembered being 14(ish) and the outfits my mom made me and my best friend. I remember waiting in line in our costumes and running out to the car as soon as the books were in our hands. I remember my best friend sitting on the bottom bunk (several pages ahead of me because she’s a faster reader) while I sat in a beanbag chair on the floor – her giggling at Pig the owl when I was stil pages away. I remember being enchanted by these books and the characters. I wasn’t thinking of the balance of magic or the plot structure.

    Sure, now I am a bit annoyed with the world-building of the HP series. Look at LeGuin’s stuff for example. Magic is all about balance. You use magic to make your ship go faster (by calling up the wind) and you’ve created a hurricane someplace else. That makes sense. This whole wand motions and incantations is fun to read about – but still, it’s not the artful magic in other places.

    HOWEVER having said all of that stuff up there, there is something indescribable about these books. Was it that they were just written at the right time for the right audience? I don’t think so. If that was the case than it wouldn’t be the world-wide sensation the books were. I mean, how many books are there that have not just launched an 8 movie series but also a theme park?

    Yeah, I’m drawing a blank too.

    So, there is something magic about them. They speak to all ages in all countries. And this is something that I hope you all will ponder with me as I keep up my project. Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting some Harry Potter Reflections posts where I look at different aspects of the series. Will any of them shine light onto my paper topic? Maybe. You’ll just have to read and find out.  

    Checking In

    Not much has changed since the last post…

    Except I’ve read much more Harry Potter, done mounds of laundry, and been working a ton. Seriously, when you work between 35-40 hours a week and try and read all the Harry Potter book in two months there isn’t time for much else.

    I have found time to “window shop” on my favorite webpages (Etsy and Wanelo) and I found a shirt with this image on it…

    Needless to say I 1) agree and 2) want that shirt. And while there may be no such thing as too many books, there is such a thing as not having enough space to store them all.
    Whats a girl to do?
    Well I am now 1,228 pages into the 4,100 pages that I need to read by February 27th. I think that’s like 30%…
    I will say this. I am not the biggest fan of this whole *fingerwiggles* independent study thing. At first I thought “Sure, it’ll be hard but not that hard.” It’s not the reading that’s difficult. It’s the research. Ugh. The public library only has so much of the type of research materials I need and I have to pay $50 to join the local university’s library (that is just illegal if you ask me) and the library on my campus can send me things but I’m getting tangled in all of the red tape I have to get through to get the books and documents. 
    *Sigh* I am done freaking out/ venting/ whatever-ing at the moment. 
    I promise that I will be back sooner (rather than never) with new and exciting blog posts. My friend’s blog is really starting to show mine up and I’m super competitive – so we can’t have that now can we? 😉