Feel Better Bear…

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We’re going on an adventure.

Well, that’s what Nathan said. It was adventure time. I had to look my best. Of course, Nathan’s idea of an adventure for me went from a ride in the washing machine, because the stupid cat threw up on me, to sticking my head out the window of a car going a gazillion miles an hour down the street. Adventure meant a lot of things but Nathan was happier than I had ever seen him. I had never been hugged as tightly as I was currently, and Nathan didn’t smile like he was now much anymore. This was also the longest I’d seen in happy ever. I was excited.

I was dressed as Buzz Lightyear and had spent the past forever in a backpack, my head poking out of the top trying to see everything. Nathan said I was dressed as Buzz Lightyear because he wouldn’t be afraid to fly with Buzz. I was okay with it. I liked having wings.

Every time Nathan threw me up in the air I know he wanted me to fly. He eventually stopped because Mom told him if I kept hitting the roof of the plane I might break it.

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Slug Club Book Club 7/21/2014

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                On the night of July 21st, many witches and wizards gathered at their local pub, The George and Dragon, to discuss a novel that they had read together….or more importantly in many cases, did not read together. All former houses had representatives at this gathering and only 4 had read The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Those four souls were at a table together to discuss the book and pose questions in regards to it. However, the rest of those fine patrons, this author included, spent the night indulging in the local inebriating beverages, telling stories of years past. All of this was done of course while putting together a rather intriguing game that most of them would play together eleven days later at one of the largest gathering of witches and wizards in the United States, but that will be a time for another post.

                However, before the groups broke off many of us told tales of where we were seven years prior, to when the final novel of the series that brought us all together, was brought to shelves. I myself was in a full Luna Lovegood costume at my local Books-A-Million for the midnight release party. I had made earrings out of real radishes, and taken over 20 Sobe drink caps, painted them black and then put gold BB’s on their lids to create my vision of her “Butterbeer cap necklace” as we had yet to see the beautiful Evanna Lynch take the screen as my favorite Ravenclaw. Others had to wait until the next morning to acquire the book, and some, like me, had been at their local release parties. One even had yet to get into the series at that point, yet this fandom which we all call home is so large and welcoming that it matters little as to when you join it, one shall always be welcomed.

                Back at our local pub, many of the witches and wizards in attendance seemed to prefer the British imported beverages, while a select few preferred more home based liquid courage. We became a fine oiled machine of paper, scissors, glue, pens and temporary tattoos. The night was filled with fried foods, and a lively discussion focused around a certain Boy Wizard and the world he introduced to us all. Tales of visits to Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade along with their most recent trips on the Hogwarts Express left the lips of many in attendance while a local Gryffindor became the procurer of many pieces of memorabilia for those who had not made it to the most recent Grand Opening. Plans were finalized for the gathering in less than two weeks at the large convention and it was only a few short hours that kept our gathering together. While many of us did not actually read the book, getting together with our fellow housemates, former students, friends, was what mattered to us, it was what mattered to me.

                 I’m always happiest on nights I get to spend with the Central Florida Slug Club, and I cannot wait to join them all at Leaky Con 2014 in less than a week. They are my Potter people, my Potter family, my friends.

Fandom

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I was 11 years old when the first Harry Potter movie came out. I sat in the reading corner provided by my teacher, multicolored pillows thrown into a giant pile in the back left corner of the classroom, pretending to read a Nancy Drew book while I listened to my classmates talk about the film. Two summers previously my father had attempted to entice me into reading the books, but after the first chapter all I wanted to do was get back to The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. I was bored and couldn’t believe so many people really wanted to read those books when there were much more thrilling adventures. However, I wasn’t very popular and had very few people I called friend by the time fifth grade came around, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to go see the movie everyone was talking about. I wasn’t allowed to though, not until I had read the book, or so my friend Gianna told me when I suggested we do it when we hung out that weekend. I explained to her my feelings about the book when I tried to read it previously, but she stood firm. I begrudgingly picked up the book from our school library and vowed to force myself to read it. 

 

It’s been 11 years since I picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Since then I have read the entire seven book series at least ten times, and the first five books at least 35 times each, the first 3 at least 47 times and the third one, my favorite in the series, around 65 times. I went to the final 3 book release parties in full, homemade costumes. I sat in movie theater’s at 12am for every movie that came out after the first one. I had an entire wall dedicated to Harry Potter memorabilia, magazine articles and a giant four foot tall poster for my 7th and 8th grade years of school. I decided to brave the crowds and tried to help as my mother pushed me through a sea of people for the grand opening of Hogsmeade in Universal Studios Florida in June of 2010. I’m a proud editor of the quarterly newsletter and Ravenclaw Prefect for the Central Florida Slug Club, and in two weeks I will be attending my second, of many more to come, Harry Potter conventions. I have little shame when it comes to admitting not only was I wrong about the series, but it has become a major contributing factor to my life today. It is why I got into writing, why I fell in love with reading so much, and how I made countless friends who I know will be by me for the long haul. 

 

There are also times I need to explain my obsession to those less involved in the fandom and I always preface it by saying “Nerd Moment”. Yet, I would not be who I am without that nerd moment and while some roll their eyes at me, I proudly don my robes on September 1st and make my way to Hogwarts. Yes, I’m referring to the castle in Orlando and yes, I am referring to real robes. However, while there are times that my face turns redder then normal, there are also times that this fandom, this family, brings me to tears with their kindness and how far we reach in our caring to others.

 

A few weeks ago a tragedy struck and a 15 year old girl was left the lone survivor of a horrible home invasion. Her siblings and parents were all killed in front of her and the only way she survived was by pretending to be dead. A few days later, in a press conference to speak about what had happened, young Cassidy Stay quoted Albus Dumbledore and stated that “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times; if one only remembers to turn on the light”. When I read that story, I began sobbing. Deep breaths because it’s hard to breath through the tears, red puffy eyes sobbing because a book series, a movie series, a fantastical group of characters, a passionate range of fans from all over the world….a fandom, could give this girl enough strength to even stand in front of people and talk about it. I know I would not have been able to do it.

I’m proud to say that I’m a part of the Harry Potter generation. They say “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home”, but the truth is, we Potterheads will always be at Hogwarts to welcome others and teach the next generation about Harry Potter. The Theme Park world continues to expand, but this fandom is so much larger than that. It spans chat boards, websites, clubs, and even an international quidditch association, which in many colleges and universities is now being considered a true contact sport.

Words have an impact. Everything we say, everything we write, has meaning and can help lift someone up or slam them down. When I was young, the thing to say was “Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. I’ve learned that’s a lie as the years have gone on. In fact, there have been many times that I wished for sticks and stones over the harsh reality that words can bring because most of the time, the healing time is a lot faster. But these words, these pages, have brought together a community that cares for each other beyond anything I’ve ever witnessed before. When I truly think of the impact that Harry Potter has had on the world, I’m left shaking and realizing how small a role I play. My heart is filled with joy everytime I see my fandom reaching out and helping others. Everything from a community service organization, to books for underprivileged children, to creating a care package for a girl who has lost her whole family, filled with material things that are coated in love and caring. We can’t always be there in person to support those of us who are hurting, but this community will always be there to greet and welcome people into the fold not matter how small or large their passion for it is.

I’m proud to be a Potterhead. Proud to be Ravenclawsome. Proud to be part of the Harry Potter Generation.

New Beginnings

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Via suggestion for how to keep my writing and such up to date I’ve decided to start a blog. Here I’ll post writing samples, start new writing projects, have a place to put ideas to see if they still sound good later, keep track of my career goals and how I plan to achieve them and finally, simple updates to my life that I will attempt to make into small creative non-fiction pieces. I will not use this space as a place to whine (hopefully) and plan to keep up with this fairly regularly.

 

My name is Elizabeth.

I’m 22 years young almost 23.

I graduated with a degree in Creative Writing

One day I hope to take that degree and see my ideas on a stage, in a book or on a TV

I have a cat named Jingle, he’ll probably pop up in a post or two

Hoping this doesn’t turn into a big disaster.