June 26 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Harry Potter series first entry into publication, and while “Pottermania” would not take hold of the world until the eventual release of the third book, those who picked up the story on a whim where already being enchanted by the tale of the Mr. Potter and his early trials at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone (Ironically wondering if such a thing was like a philosophers stone, because despite what localizes think, there are those of us in the US who know what that is, and even recognize the name Flamel.) at the start of Christmas break in 1997, I then read it five more times before the three week long break was complete, every time I completed the story I simply reopened the book and started from page one…
Books from the Past Edition
All right everyone, I’ll admit it, I’m behind on books. Of course everyone is- but it’s starting to make me feel guilty. So far I’ve finished six books this year, but there are so many great series out there I haven’t touched because I have an irrational fear of not loving them as much as things I have loved in the past. Look, I never claimed to be logical- OK?
I am especially referring to the fantasy genre- the one I write in and want to be published in. It’s a challenge though, because in times of revolution and change and in grappling with becoming more self aware I have been leaning towards fiction and nonfiction that I feel will widen my world view. But this world is exhausting and depressing, and sometimes I want a break- preferably on the back of a dragon. So, while everyone has already made their lists of things they are most looking forward to being released this year, I am making a list of things to catch up on. Fantasy things, maybe a few sci-fi things as well, but magic is usually what I’m looking for, in life and in writing.
We’re missing home…
Technically, Fort Bragg California isn’t home- except that it has changed less over the years then my own childhood home has. I’ve been going there for as long as I can remember; stretched out on rickety hotel beds with my sister watching Back to the Future while my parents figured out where we’d go for dinner. Then years later, on my honeymoon. My husband and I go back every year now, usually multiple times; it gets in your bones, in your blood. Makes you ache for quiet streets and grey mornings, the sun shining off the sea, the cry of gulls over the harbor.
How about a trip up highway 49?
This time last year I was waking up in Monterey California to blue skies and a quiet sea. Now I’m questioning why WordPress thinks “Monterey” is spelled wrong. Ah, well. Onward!
Four vignettes of the seasons, placed in chronological (although not seasonal) order. All centered around the same home and it’s family over the course of hundreds of years. At about two hundred words each, they’re glimpses at ghosts and that first line of dawn, just over the horizon. Happy New Year to you and yours, may we find joy in the next.
Wow, if I could go back in time to 2015 and tell myself what was in store for the year ahead? I wouldn’t, I would say, “No, that me was in bed by ten o clock, let her sleep in quiet, safe oblivion for just a little longer.”
Needless to say, even though we shall all still say it, this year sucked. But I can say I’ve learned a great deal about myself, the world, and writing. On a personal level I struggled through the fall with nearly overwhelming depression, but came through with a few 2 AM revelations that have at least helped me put things into perspective. I’ve started to feel the pavement beneath me on our walks again, and the birdsong filters in through the windows as more than just noise. Despite the myth of creative types needing some inner darkness to create, really the demons just make you blind to whatever may be inside that could come out…
So here’s a look back at what I’ve accomplished, and a look forward at what I hope to achieve.
(Originally written 11-4-16, in Fort Bragg, California)
It’s quiet before dawn, the world illuminated with a tired half-light. I sit beside the window of our hotel room, my husband asleep in the shadows beyond There’s a fire beside me, and the Pacific roars below the cliffs only yards from our balcony.
The sun still slumbers, the air a cold grey, but I can see the white caps of an angry surf. Last night the waves were towers, bridges; arching twenty feet into the sky to crash into the California coast, sending spray rocketing skyward before a sunset of topaz and rose.