|Welcome to the magical world|
Sorry for the delay on this post, but my sister was a slacker, and the library still didn't have any Harry Potter books (crazy, right?). Nonetheless, here we go.
|Holding the DVDs because I don't own the book(s)|
Also, I live in a basement. Much like
how Harry lived in a closet...
One day as I was walking in, the pastor's wife got my attention. (I can't remember exactly how the conversation went, so I'm going to use the CREATIVE portion of creative non fiction so you guys get the idea.)
She had soft wavy brown hair and large glasses that completely covered her eyes. "You like to read, right?" she asked.
"I do," I said. "I just heard about these books, Harry Potter, have you read them?"
A worried look crossed her face, and then she said, "I've heard of them, and they're demonic. You shouldn't read them. They have magic in them, and magic comes from the devil."
"Okay," I said, and I took the message home to my sisters. "Don't read Harry Potter, you'll go to Hell!"
So...rather than read the books, years later, my oldest sister took me to the movies, and from there I continued watching (most of) the rest of them (I still actually haven't seen the last one, though twitter and Facebook has already ruined the end for me). In 2011, though I wasn't a huge Harry Potter fan (yea, sure the movies were fun, but sometimes I lost interest) I drove to Orlando, Florida for Leaky Con's LitDay to meet amazing authors, and hear panels about the industry.
The atmosphere was infectious. They were releasing the last Harry Potter movie, those in the audience were going to be the first ones to watch it, before the rest of America even got the chance. Everyone was buzzing with excitement, and lost in the mass of kids and adults dressed like they were ready to attend Hogwarts, I found myself getting excited, too.
Though I'd originally planned to bail out after the authorly panels were over, I found myself in a cushioned seat in a large room as the crowd hushed. Arthur Levine (the man who edited all of the Harry Potter books) entered the room. As he took the podium, cheers erupted, I'm pretty sure some people in the audience cried, and I looked at them like they were crazy (or, possibly, devil worshipers).
"When I met Jo, she looked hungry. As many of you know she was on foodstamps..." and from there he told the tale of meeting a starving author, with kids, with a lot to lose...She'd been rejected by several publishers and agents. No one believed in her story, but she did.
|My sister. She is sad, too.|
As he spoke, I had that Oh my God, moment. The one that tells me I spent x-amount of years missing out on something big because my church, a church I loved whole heartedly, told me those books were devil worshiping. I missed out on reading a great series, on being a part of something that truly moved people, and connected them to each other. Most of all, I missed out on something that got people and kids to read.
By proxy, my sister also missed out because I was a zealous Christian girl, upholding the word of God (nowhere in the Bible does it say don't read Harry Potter). (She is still kind of bitter about this one...)
All Harry wanted to was to be loved. In the end, I think that's what a lot of kids these days want. I know that's what I want. Well, that, and a nice package of mint oreos...
As I've been working on my memoir, I've been becoming increasingly angry with the things the church told me. For the record, I am still a Christian. I still pray on a daily basis, and love God (or my Higher Power for those of you who attend Alanon or AA).
Within the last year, I've become adamantly pro-choice and am becoming more vocal about it by the day. In College, one of my friends jumped from the Mackinaw Bridge, and I stopped believing suicides go to Hell. A boy who helped lead me toward God recently came out in the last few years, and thus, I stopped believing gays go to Hell, because he was the most passionate Christian I have ever met. The church taught me a lot about life, and I'm slowly starting to see that what I was told may have been vastly incorrect. (I'll be taking some of these topics on through this blog, hopefully you'll stick around through the journey.)
After Mr. Levine's speech, I no longer think that Harry Potter is demonic. Though I still didn't stick around to watch the movie with everyone, or attend the dance party, one of my life goals is to read the books, and at long last take part in something that has influenced my generation.
The moral of this post is: don't be afraid to read. Don't be afraid to be a part of something. Books are there to help you find what you're looking for, to test your beliefs (in a safe, non-cocaine type of environment), and take you on adventures the laws of gravity don't allow you to.
And for those of you writing the books, keep writing. Never stop pushing boundaries because your words may someday help save lives.