So if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may have noticed that I have a large love for the wonderful Harry Potter. This time last year, we were a day away from watching the very last film; an end of an era. So, this year I have decided to keep the magic alive by spending this weekend posting all about the brilliant story.
(I will also be having a marathon weekend of the films – yay!)
Now that you know more about what theme my blog will be taking in the next few days, here’s a little run down of what will be happening;
- Friday 13th July; What Harry Potter has taught me and how it has changed my life
- Saturday 14th July; Diving into the past – a look at some Harry Potter moments – including some of my own writing.
- Sunday 15th July; Questionnaire results summarized + Giveaway of awesome prizes!!
Nice and simple, yes?
The reason for the spectacular giveaway is due to my ten month blogoversary happening on Sunday and my birthday on Saturday. (Oh yes, it is all happening this weekend.) More details of the giveaway will be released on Sunday, but for now just remember to sit on the edge of your seats and look forward to an awesome treat!
With all the ‘official’ things out of the way, it’s time to focus more specifically on Friday’s topic; What HP has taught me and how it changed my life.
Harry Potter; Influential Storytelling.
For as long as I can remember I have always loved to read. When I was extremely young my favourite book was the one that kept we repeating “we can’t go under it, we can’t go over it, we can’t go around it, we have to go through it.” (Because I was beyond spectacular, no?)
As I grew up, I started reading Roald Dahl and simply couldn’t get enough of his fabulous tales – to this day Matilda is still my favourite of his books. Then there was Jaqueline Wilson and Phillip Pullman and Kevin Brooks and even eventually Anne Rice. But while all of these authors made my life better, and brought me to life, none of them affected me quite the way that J. K. Rowling did.
At eleven years of age I saw the trilogy in the monthly book catalogue that we recieved at school and while I can’t remember why I wanted them, I told my mum that she had to buy them for me and so she did. And I devoured all three books in no time at all. I loved them so much, in fact, that I refused to let my mum off the hook and made sure that she read them too. She did and she loved them all too. My sisters, unfortunately, are a different matter altogether.
J. K. Rowling inspired me with her writing. I had dreams about the trio, I imagined adventures I would have with the trio and within the castle on my own and I simply wanted to be a witch. At the age of thirteen when I finally had my hands on Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix (which I got on the release date in hardback because it was a MUST have), I thought that maybe there was a way to open up this world to me but I just continued to read the stories instead. I waited with baited breath for the next book. Often re-reading the stories again just to re-fresh my memory. Of course, by this point we also had the first two films which I had loved.
Then at fourteen, with another year to wait before Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released, I was wasting time on Neopets when I saw a forum board called ‘Roleplaying’. Naturally I was supicious but when I found out what it actually was, I started watching some of the HP ones. Finding it to be quite fascinating until eventually I struck up the courage to join in. J. K. Rowling’s story could suddenly become my own while I interacted with fellow fans of the story. Eventually I was invited to a proboards forum. It was small, there was maybe ten of us who RPed on there but we loved it. It was great. Then I found a forum that will forever hold a special place in my heart; New Hogwarts.
It was one of my favourite RP forums. I created a gazillion characters, came up with a gazillion more plots and ideas and I made friends with so many great people. One of whom is our resident blogger friend, Brodie. In fact, I got on with her so well that the two of us tried starting our own RP forum. Unfortunately while it was active and good for a while, it never really kicked off and then we both got busy and it ended up becoming surrounded in dust. Nonetheless, New Hogwarts was still a regular haunt for me during this time. But why is this such a great deal for me? How has this affected so much of my life?
New Hogwarts was the first place that I truly felt I belonged. Everyone was so friendly, we all had similar interests and we were all writers. It was also the very place that I honed my writing skills and because I was a member from the age of fourteen until the age of seventeen, it had a large impact on my life. Those were the years I had friendship troubles at school, the years I was bullied and the years that I left my high school and moved on to college and throughout it all, I had a consistency in a forum where people cared about me. I would not be the person I am today if it wasn’t for that site and the people who I met there (many of whom I still talk to today) and there is really only one person I have to thank for that; J. K. Rowling.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all fun and games. There was drama as well, until eventually it all ended – words were said, ties were broken and my safety bubble was shattered. It took me a good year before I found another site that managed to rival New Hogwarts for my affections. PI is a RP forum that I still roleplay on. I found it when I was seventeen but I wasn’t fully active on it for a long while, I was from eighteen until now. Bumpy ride here and there with uni but it’s always been there, ready to welcome me back with open arms. And lets face it, the people there are just amazing. (Oh hello, Kathe)
Harry Potter has, as you can see, very much influenced me. It made me want to write. As I was writing daily characters and plots on a roleplaying site, I soon found my imagination opening up and I quickly started writing my own stories and I have now written two completed novels (that just need some major edits) and I am not so sure my love of writing would have flourished quite as much without the wonderful world of Harry Potter.
Harry Potter; Teaching a Nation.
In all honesty, this is the hardest part of this post for me because when I think of Harry Potter, I find it hard to think of the things it has taught me because for me, the story has simply been my life. It has taught me how to be myself, it has shown me that in the face of our fears, we must stand tall and fight. It has shown me that there are great friendships out there, but that they aren’t always easy. It taught me that love is powerful and overwhelming and can fight even the evilest of evils. But mostly it has taught me that when the going gets tough, when things don’t exactly go the way they’re planned that things will get better eventually.
Some quotes that really mean something;
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on a light.”
It’s not about the journey to happiness, it’s about finding happiness in your life even when things aren’t the way they should be.
“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
Because someone who stands up in a fight even though they know they can’t win will earn more respect then the bully who will knock him down.
“According to Madam Pomfrey, thoughts could leave deeper scarring than almost anything else…”
Everyone forgets about the emotional scarring that appears from words. Sometimes we need to be reminded that we all more fragile than we appear.
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
Why indeed? A quote that every writer and reader will love.
Harry Potter may only be a story. It may only be entertainment. But for me, and so many others before me, it is so much more than that. It is our life. The thing that we grew up with. The inspiration we always needed. It has taught and shown us things that we will forever keep in our hearts.
“After all this time?”