Tag Archives: community

“After all this time?” “Always”

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Last year on Wizarding Independence Day (or V-V Day) I wrote a reflection on what life would look like for my friends, several celebrities, and myself without Harry Potter. This year I bring you a report from the field, best summed up: “After all this time?” “Always.”

Did you think we would disappear with time? Think again.

While our theme park in Orlando seems to be constantly expanding and a Japanese branch is opening in June, J. K. Rowling has announced a new film trilogy. Besides that, a J. K. Rowling sanctioned play discussing Harry’s life before Hogwarts is in the works.

I’ve found myself back in the fandom with the opening of HogwartsIsHere, which has been receiving copious amounts of positive press everywhere from Buzzfeed to Time to Comedy Central (I haven’t been able to find this link yet, but a friend posted about it).

Having been on the fringes of the beginnings of this project and having been invited back in as the website looks to expand, I can say again, “Always.” Being welcomed back into the active fandom really does feel like “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome [me] home.” I’ve very much been enjoying basking the in secondhand glory of HogwartsIsHere’s success, and now that we’re starting to put together teams for further textbook development, I’m really excited to get to know new friends.

It’s amazing what this fandom has done to pull people together and the passion that its fans can muster, the creativity, what we’ve been able to create and sustain when we pull together, projects like HogwartIsHere, Mugglenet, and The Leaky Cauldron, as well as the International Quidditch Association, which has become truly international with teams in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K., Italy, and France.

And while we’re talking about rallying, let’s take a moment to recognize The Harry Potter Alliance for their efforts to decrease worldsuck (to borrow a term from a fandom with a bit of overlap).

This is a fandom that is still very active after all this time, and we’re not going anywhere.  If you’ve been away for a while, well, as I’m relearning “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

Happy V-V Day, Pottherheads!

Happy Wizarding Independence Day!

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This post will be done a day later than it ought to be posted, but May 2nd is Wizarding Independence Day (or I prefer V-V Day).  This reminder of the 15th anniversary of Harry Potter’s defeat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in the Battle of Hogwarts (the 5th celebrated in the Muggle world) prompted a friend to ask “How would we be different if it weren’t for Harry Potter, if Harry Potter never existed?”  This question in turn prompted a tearful listing of all the joys we would have missed out on if it were not for our introduction to the Boy Who Lived: midnight releases, Starkid Potter, “The Mysterious Ticking Noise,” being “married” to our favorite characters, Muggle Quidditch, our introduction to fanfiction, her introduction to Tumblr….

We concluded that we would not be ourselves; we would be different people.

I would have some fewer friends.  That I know.  Some of them I’ve met only through the Potter fandom.  Many of them I’ve become closer to through the Potter fandom.  Would I still be friends with those with whom Harry Potter has been either the first laid brick of our friendships or our mortar?

The main characters of my WIP, who can probably call Harry and Draco their grandfathers or godfathers or some other respectful title implying a nurturing role, might have taken longer to materialize, might be different people, might never have existed.  I might not write.

And this friend and I are not the only ones to have been affected by Harry Potter’s story.  Thousands were.

Would Cassandra Clare have ever penned Jace, Alec, Magnus, Will, or Jem?  Maybe. But would she have been provoked to put fingers to keys and discover her talent?  I hate to think of that talent being locked away from the world.

What other writers would never have been published, would never have written?

Would Darren Criss still be on Glee?  Probably not.  Would Joey Richter be playing the occasional part in a Disney Channel sitcom or in YouTube web series?  Would the Starkids have even met?

Would Emma Watson even be acting, let alone have won the awards that she has?

Harry Potter for me has been so much more than a book series and it has opened so many doors.

Harry is directly responsible for my first published article and literary conference.

If I had not discovered my love of writing and literature, would I have ever heard of Hollins University?  Would I have majored in the same subject?  Would I now hope to make at least part of my living by introducing others to a fantasy world of my own?  Would I hope to help others introduce readers to their fantasy worlds by editing their manuscripts?

Harry is again directly responsible for my first editorial position.  Without him, there would have been no Wizarding Life.

That position paired with my love of the series and literature in general led at least partially to the door being opened to my current position as a bookseller.

So yes I’m thankful, as my friend said, “that Harry Potter saved magic” “And,” as I replied, “introduced us to wonders of which we had not yet conceived.”

Happy V-V Day, Potterheads!

Build Bridges Not Walls

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I’ve been prompted to reflect on the wonder of the blogging community and of little love notes.

Yesterday while mundanely and somewhat irritatedly straightening the shelves at work, I found a small index card behind a few improperly placed books.

It made me smile.  I pocketed it.  I plan to leave it for another to find when I return to work, and thus is community expanded, smiles sparked, word spread.

This is not the first time that I have found such little love notes in a bookstore.  Finding this one from Hello reminded me of a once upon a time when my sister and I discovered a few sticky notes in Borders bookstore.  What they said now I cannot say.  What we were doing in Borders I cannot now say.  I only remember that they made us smile, made us giggle, that we took pictures of them, one of which was my sister’s background for her phone for some time.

Sticky notes and index cards are not the only way to spread such smiles.  Though illegal and technically an act of vandalism I think, this one seemed a message from God when, upon parking my car for an interview, I exited the car to see this beside the driver-side door.

This one I know to be an act of vandalism, but it became inspiration for my senior class as many of us passed it daily.

It takes so little to make a person smile.  Those words of encouragement can mean so much.  How little time does it take to write a note and leave it for someone to find?  What a wonderful way to build a community.  What a way to spread love.

My friends and I have been building our own community on WordPress.  Yesterday saw the first of our large group legal theft posts.  With a group of six perhaps to become seven, our blogs have been linked to one another.  We’re building bridges not walls even across the distances that separate us, and we’re trying to let others enjoy our company too by posting all of this for the wider perusal of WordPress and the Internet.

What notes have made you smile?  How are you building bridges?