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A Slight Obsession

A Slight Obsession

I think it’s time to admit that I have a slight obsession. It’s nothing big, really. Nothing to worry about. It’s not like it consumes half my time and then I’m constantly thinking about it… Ok who am I kidding? I’m a total addict. Everyone knows. I have a bit more than a slight obsession with Harry Potter… Since I was 9 years old I just loved the series, but I had periods of obsessing over it less and more. Currently I’m obsessing over it a lot. It started from the summer break, when they were releasing Deathly Hallows P2. It kind of all came back to me… And it never went away.

I’m very proud of my obsession. And I’m starting to get a bit tired of defending it… So I’ve decided that, once and for all, I would make a post about just WHY I love Harry Potter just that much. I don’t think I need to defend it, but I’d like to have a quick answer in store if somebody dares call it ‘Just a Book’. So in no particular order, here’s a list of 7 reasons why I love Harry Potter.

1. It’s not just a book.

It’s 7 books, plus 3 extra ones. Also 8 movies. Also 2 beta websites, a theme park, a studio tour and 2 musicals. Is that clear?

2. The author.

I once wrote a four page essay about J.K. Rowling for school. The requirement was for two pages and for me four was keeping it short. The things she went through in life and how she survived them, to me, are just spectacular. I can relate to her in so many ways and I just can’t thank her enough…

3. Tom Felton.

I’m not usually one to fangirl. Justin Bieber, One Direction, all of that, I don’t like that. But I am perfectly insane over Tom Felton. Seriously. Just look at him:

I MEAN HOW CAN YOU NOT BE IN LOVE WITH THAT? (I have a feeling this post will embarass me in the future…)

4. Evanna Lynch.

She is just PERFECT for the role of Luna Lovegood. Also, she is such a Potterhead it’s just amazing. I feel like she’s part of the family (and by that I mean the Potterhead family).

5. The Weasleys.

The Weasleys are the ultimate family. A mother who stuffs them with home cooked food and knits sweaters. A father who knows how to take care of his family. A pair of awesome prankster twins. A badass little sister. GINGER HAIR. What more can you ask for in a family?

6. A Very Potter Musical and A Very Potter Sequel.

If you consider yourself a Potterhead and don’t know what AVPM or AVPS is, you should go on youtube and do some research. These two musicals show what the Muggles can do. The star of the musicals, Darren Criss, later became very well known for his part as Blaine in Glee. But first, he was a Starkid, and a Starkid he shall always be… Also, I go to Pigfarts.

7. The FANDOM.

My previous post was about this. The Harry Potter fandom has just made my year. I can’t explain just how amazing it’s all been for me.

There are LOTS of other reasons why I love Harry Potter, and I would have loved to list them all, but unfortunately that would bore you all to death. So I’ll just leave you with this quote…

One Small Step

9th grade is actually a very exciting year. You grow up a lot. You learn so much (mostly not during actual lessons) and you have to make very important choices.

For me, 9th grade will always be remembered as the year I took my first step.

I had been very excited the day before. I picked out my outfit carefully and took a long shower to think. I went to sleep early so I wouldn’t look tired. In the morning I put on my Time Turner with a knob missing and the ring I got from my grandma, both for good luck. It’s nice to believe in that kind of thing, even if you know deep down it’s probably not true. It makes you feel better, more confident.

I didn’t even bother trying to be there on time to catch the school bus. Instead, I took my time and then walked to the public bus stop. When I arrived at school lessons had already started and the hallways were empty. My class had work period, which is basically working for our school so they don’t have to hire a gaziliion people to do stuff (Animals to tend to: cows, horses, one camel, lots of peacocks, some goats, rabbits, caged birds, etc. Other possible jobs: cleaning the school, helping in the office, working in the fields etc.) Our school is enormous and is considered “half private” (whatever that means). It’s a very special school though and apparently it’s very hard to get in (I think they say that just to advertise though, because for me it was just a 10 minute interview).

Anyway, my friend was one of the lucky ones and got to work in the office, and she was just delivering some letters around the school when I got there. I wasn’t planning on working today, I just couldn’t. Instead I helped her out and when she was done we just waited in the empty classroom until students started to fill the room. Eventually I noticed it was time to go and we began to make our way towards the cafeteria.

The school cafeteria is huge. When the tables are pulled back, there is enough room for the whole school to crowd into it. I picked up a little card with my name on it before entering and also got a nice little bookmark (which I later lost).

I went to a bench up front and sat next to a boy I kind of knew from around. Eventually a girl from my class, Ella, joined me there. We were the only two from our class meant to sit up front.

I was probably the most excited and anxious person in that cafeteria. And that’s saying a lot, because some 7th graders were freaking out.

Now, for me this gathering was much more important than for some of the people there. Ella, for example, was maybe an eighth as anxious as I was. I think I was holding my breath the whole time.

The whole thing happened exruciatingly slowly. Some people came onto the stage and talked about how wonderful it is to encourage writing among students and other things I really didn’t care about hearing at the moment. They talked and read poems and there were about three “but before we begin”s.

However, after a while they finally had to begin, and I was still holding my breath.

My short story won third place. There were four categories and roughly calculating that means I was third best out of about 28, and between sixth and and third best out of 58. Rereading it, the story was really good but very badly edited. I could have won second place, if not first. But still, walking up onto the stage I felt a sense of euphoria. I took the certificate and prize money and went to stand next to the woman who was now reading a description of my story.

The surprising thing was that what she said about my story was so different from what I had planned it to be about. Apparently I had written a story about a return to heaven, hinting to the biblical story of Adam and Eve. Truth was, I meant to write about the environmental destruction we are throwing ourselves into, and how nature will be missed in the future even by those who haven’t ever seen it.

My reaction: Kaaaaaaaaaaay.

Still, it was exciting enough. I went back to my seat and hardly dared to hope for my poem to win as well (which it didn’t). Ella’s didn’t win either. However, a girl who I didn’t know who was sitting behind us won first place for both her story and poem. I was very happy for her (and a bit jealous).

The whole day I was congratulated by different people, some of whom I barely knew. I got to attend a conference with a poet who talked about the stages of the Muse in creaters lives (Instead of math! Double bonus!).

I was starting to get used to people congratulating me and asking how much money I got, but I was caught off guard once. I was asked how long it took me to write the story and when I replied with, “A few hours… Plus editing.” the boy who had asked nodded and said, “That’s ok, I guess. It was worth it.”
Something about the way he said it made me realize something, and I don’t know why it did but it surprised me very much.
“Wait, you know I enjoyed writing it, right?”
He actually looked surprised. “Oh, well, that’s a bonus.”

So far I hadn’t really thought of the money I had won. I was too happy about actually winning, for the first (and hopefully not the last) time in my life. And this was the first competition I had ever entered my writing in. I felt one step higher up that tall mountain I was trying to climb. But I just couldn’t believe someone could think I had done it for money!

I don’t think it would have been possible to win any place if you did it for money. It just wouldn’t have any soul. And there are better ways to get money, anyway. I was truly dissapointed at that moment.

However, my mind soon moved on to better things. The Muse had hit me hard that day and I had some ideas to get to. I promised myself that next year I will win at least second place. Another small step up the mountain.

I know where I’m headed – and watch me get there.

Next time I will post the beggining of my next story (planned to be a novel – though when will I have time, I’m not sure).

May the Muse be with you, and the idiots stay far away.

Stories

“I have China with me in my bag right now.”
“China? What do you mean?”
“It’s a country.”
“Ok Maya… Whatever…”

This is a conversation I had with my friend yesterday.

Yeah, I carry countries in my bag. Currently it’s post-WW1 China. A few days ago I was actually travelling with some dwarves and a wizard in my bag. I just pull out my little secret and the world is gone. And I’m there, in the land of stories.

It kind of feels like leading a double life. Like once I get one of my books out, I’m in my other life, my secret life. Sitting in Tanach class pretending to have the Tanach book open in front of me (but it’s actually ‘The Painter of Shanghai’), I’m in a parallel universe. I’m in my own little bubble, my own sanctuary. My only troubles are the troubles of Yuliang, or Bilbo, or Harry or Matilda or whoever I am at the moment. Suddenly failing math doesn’t matter so much anymore. Suddenly missing my dad and his wife and my little brother, and worrying about my future and the fights with my mom, all of that isn’t important.

I stop to think, just for just a moment, that if I will always have this other life, I don’t really need the first one. I can just live like that, off of stories. They are better than food, better than any iPhone or expensive car. They are the fule to my soul.

There are people in the world who hate books. They HATE them. I have a friend like that. I can’t understand. I simply can’t understand whether she is soulless or simply stupid. Or I’m just stupid. Maybe I’m living in one big illusion.

And there is one boy. He said to me once, “I try as much as possible to stay away from people who read books.”
Why? Because you fear being more intelligent? Because you are afraid of the truth and the emotion that you will experience while reading?
Or maybe you simply don’t know, can’t grasp the beauty of it?
But why? Why can’t you realize what you’re missing? Why are you living in utter stupidity? Keeping yourself away from people who think. Staying ignorant. Close-minded.

My parents don’t like books. They don’t hate them either, but mostly it is I that encourage them to read and not the other way around. And my only grandmother who (I was told) loved to read just as much as I did, died when I was 10.

I never knew how hard it would be to find one, just ONE person who truly understands my passion. I’m starting to think my teachers could understand better than my friends. Just once I would like to talk to someone who has ever visited in my secret universe. Who has ever discovered it in their own mind. Who has ever felt what I have felt: raw, powerful, overflowing emotion. The emotion of someone else, not me, but currently I am them. We are one, united.
Perhaps the only ones who have felt it are the writers of these books that make me feel this way.

Words have such power. Such power. I don’t even know it. Neither do you. They are naked, yet masked. They themselves are masks, to layers of other words, thoughts, then emotions. Then even deeper things. Things the one who told the story doesn’t even know are hidden in it.

The smell of books is my favorite smell in the world. The relief of entering a book store full of new, fresh smelling books in the middle of a bustling mall. The excitment of walking into a library filled with old books with a strong scent.
Within these sweet smelling binded pages are words and words that have been taken out of the soul of someone else. Someone I am soon to know better than myself, sometimes. Someone who has just opened a door into their being, allowed me in and offered me tea.

If you cannot enjoy this, I pity you.

If you recognize this feeling, stop for a moment and be grateful. Stop and truly understand it.