Today's title comes from Wikipedia. Hedwig reminds me of Christmas, I think, because of the first movie, which reminds me of Christmas when I think about it. I saw the latest flick twice. Both times I thought, What an incredible thing she accomplished, as I stared at the backs of so many heads of so many people in the rows and rows before me and thought about how all of us in that theatre and all of us in all the theaters in the US and the UK and the United movie-watching World all over were having the shared experience of watching before us the lives of three main and however many minor characters that we have come to know and care about these many years. Having not read the books, I was very sad when I saw Hermione erase herself from her parents' lives. I was sad when the Dursleys just up and left. I was very sad when Hedwig died and Moody died and the one twin's ear got blown off. I was very sad when that little Dobby guy died (although I will say that the second time I saw the movie, I thought, Well, if he had just gotten them out of there without stopping to monologue he might have survived but I guess that's beside the point because his speech is the point, right? Live free and die, etc.?). But anyway, what a sad movie; the thought came to me again and again: How hard must it have been to let these characters go. I felt in awe of Rowling then. It is a nice feeling to have had and to be reminded of now.
I wonder if there is anything according to anybody that represents my innocence. Nothing obvious that I can think of. But if I suddenly figure it out, I'll be sure to share.
Christmas always feels like the end of the year to me. It's strange.
J. A. Tyler sent me a nice message on behalf of MLP. It made me very sentimental because 2010 has been a good year. Today is the first time I've thought about it. So much of my life has changed in these past twelve months. When I think "December 2009," though, I immediately think of WTMA, which came out December 15, 2009. When I think of that, I remember what I was doing, where I was on the east coast, celebrating a sort of mini-tour. I remember that copies of my book were waiting for me in Cambridge, where Timothy Gager had invited me to read. I opened that box and saw my book for the first time and held it in my hands and shook a little. I called J. A. Tyler immediately to gush and cry. He was like a worried father about those books, the contents of that cardboard box: "How do they look? Are you happy? Are there enough copies? Etc." I remember sitting outside and exploding. I probably splattered all over the sidewalk. And then I was off to Providence, where William Walsh had invited me to read. And then I went back to Philly, then back to Providence to hang out a bit, then back to the midwest, then back to Philly, and over the past year WTMA took me to Baltimore, New York, Philly, Denver, New York, Baltimore, Philly, Baltimore, Washington, New York, and Ann Arbor. And in all of that, I had a book to read from. It is a special thing to have, and I am grateful to all those who helped make it possible. Maybe this is silly, but I remember Porochista Khakpour came to the University of Cincinnati to give a lecture and she told us her goal had been to publish her first book by the age of 30. When she said that I made it a sort of secret goal for myself, too, but I never believed I would accomplish it. What an exciting year it has been. It is difficult to believe that it was only a year ago that WTMA came out. So much has changed — among other noteworthy differences, I have so much more security in my life, security I never thought I'd need or want, so I am grateful for the decisions and changes I made; and while these meant major life-altering decisions and geographical and mental shifts and etc. that loom so much larger in the memory than the little things that fill a year, it feels like WTMA has been a part of my life always. The wonderful thing about that sentiment is that it will be a part of my life always, so I am very grateful to J. A. Tyler and Mud Luscious for believing in me, in my words. Many, many thanks to J. A. Tyler (it's weird typing that because I don't call him that) and his family, and best wishes to everyone at MLP for the new year.
It is so nice to have this chance to reflect like this, because I have pretty much not been doing anything but beating myself up all year because I have not written another book. I suppose major life-decisions and geographical and mental shifts and etc. are contributing factors, but really I know they are just excuses and poor ones at that. So I am resolved. 2011, here I come: I want to bring readers to tears, want them to be that emotionally invested; I want to write unforgettable characters; I want to write images that stun and awe; I want to give readers all the pleasures of the novel and all the pleasures of poetry and all the pleasures of film in a single go; I want to grab hold of their collars and never set them free. I want to gather all those who want or need to be captured and give them a world worth visiting while their real world hushes and fades. I want them to want to come back, and to stay. Perhaps these are silly wants, but they are mine and we shall see what comes of them.