Thursday, 20 June 2013

Harry Potter and the Best Readalong Ever

All I can think of is to post crying GIFs, but you know what? No, is what. Because this was sublime. This was one of the best things to happen to the internet. And that's saying something, because this is on the internet:

Let's take a look at things that are awesome.

First and funniest, our untiring host, Alice at Reading Rambo. Alice, you magnificent, wonderful, crazy lady. Thank you for organizing this, for bringing us all together, for picking some seriously awesome section break-ups. May your Snorsnacks always be Crumple Horned.

Second and obviously, JK Rowling, because good crap. How do you even? It's like she told a story that we already knew and loved. She reached into our kid-brains and pulled out the world we wished we lived in. She gave us Hermione, you guys. HERMIONE. The patron saint of readers.

Third, the real heroes of these books, Luna and Neville. I don't even, there's nothing I can even add to that.

Fourth and I'm starting to regret numbering these but it's too late to turn back now, the entirely new perspective on Harry Potter that this readalong has given me. Who knew. I mean, Ginny! You guys, Ginny! Hey, Ginny, I LOVE YOU.

Freaking Harry Potter. Only this series could be so ruthlessly nitpicked by a pack of internet dwellers such as us and come out the other side more beloved. Freaking Harry Potter.


Last and most importantly, GIFs. Because how else can we express the emotions that this series inspires with the appropriate intensity?

Catch you on the flippity-flop, my dearest Flobberworms. It's been the actual best.

Also, I am posting this early because I finally got the spacing between those GIFs to work and I will be damned if I let Blogger eff it up while I'm asleep. DAMNED, I SAY.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

How to Write a Thing: A Guide for Editors

Happily and unexpectedly, I got a job as a proofreader in Fort St John. In the three months between this new job and my old job, I freelanced as a copy editor and writer. Writing, well, it gives me the nerves, which is why I so often resort to bullet points around here. But after pushing out a number of little assignments, I settled on a system that works for me. I thought I'd share that system in case any of you editorly folks find yourself having to write something. Steps? Steps.

  1. Write a horrible, really awful draft. Get those thoughts and ideas on screen, and don't worry about order or clarity.
  2. Go away and leave it alone.
  3. Give it a substantive and stylistic edit: rewrite and reorganize until you have a draft that's just pretty bad.
  4. Go away and leave it alone.
  5. Give it a copy edit: edit for grammar, style, and spelling.
  6. Go away and leave it alone.
  7. Proofread it: check for typos and last minute errors; make sure you didn't type "of" when you meant "or," of vice versa. [sic, you guys, sic.]
  8. Let it go: send that sucker off.

So you see, writing, like everything in life, is just editing. Of course, if you get assignments for more than 500 words, 1) Good for you, and 2) You may not have time for so many review stages. Try not sucking so much in the early steps. 

Congratulations! You can write a thing!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

HP Friday: Voldy's gone mouldy

Well. Here we are, then.  Can’t say I’m happy about it.


I started out writing all kinds of notes for this section, and then I got to page 552.

After that, I was reading too quickly and crying too noisily to make any manner of observation (To be fair, the notes I made up to that point were just variations on “This is killing me.”)

Aaah, Percy and Fred are shaking haaaands!

Let’s start with Neville, because Neville is always a good time. For example, what does he do in his first scene of the book? He helps Hermione through the portrait hole like a goddamned gentleman. Also, dude is a hard motherfucker, talking about the Carrows like it’s nothing, walking along all nonchalant while bleeding profusely from the facial region.

Also? Luna. Luna answers that Ravenclaw riddle like a boss, and only after giving Harry a chance to reason it out, if he wanted to. It makes me sad that JK said Luna and Neville don’t end up together. Though I’m sure Hannah Abbott is a perfectly nice person.

Side note: If Harry had gone with Cho to the Ravenclaw common room, and if Cho made a move (she totally would have made a move), would Harry have gone for it?

You know things are bad in this book because the good guys are tossing around Unforgivable Curses like Hermione tosses around freedom hats. Harry Imperio-ed that goblin at Gringotts, and then Crucios a Carrow, and then McGonagall goes and Imperios said Carrow minutes after! Doesn’t take a second to tell Harry off. “Gallant,” she calls it.

Except she totally does.

I’m really worried about the kids in Slytherin who aren’t Death Eaters or Death Eater admirers.

I am so going to miss remarking on the silliness of common English phrases. McGonagall says of Snape, “He has, to use the common phrase, done a bunk.” (Though calling a two dollar coin a “Toonie” is clearly the height of sophistication.)

Ron remembers the House Elves during the Battle of Hogwarts and forever secures a place in Hermione’s pants.

Oh yeah, it turns out, in my blind Alan Rickman enthusiasm, I overestimated Snape’s Sectumsempra aiming skills. Whatever, we love him still. Always, in fact.

Dumbledore tried to use the resurrection stone. Who do we think he was trying to bring back? Ariana?

Alright, Voldemort’s death. Underwhelming, right? But is there a way she could have written it that wouldn’t have been? I did like Harry’s monologing. And it’s good that Harry didn’t have to rip his newly bleached soul apart by committing a murder (although, that probably wouldn’t have hurt him, right? I mean, it’s Voldemort). And yes, Expelliarmus, it’s kind of a thing. But still, I hardly even know what happened. That’s the problem with death-by-Avada Kedavra: no time for dramatic, satisfying last words. This is why Nagini kills Snape.

And then the epilogue.

With the unfortunate hair.

Also underwhelming, but damn do I not care — I love it anyway. I would be super sad (well, sadder) if it wasn’t there. Baby Harrys and Ginnys? Adorable. Ron’s lighthearted Ron-ness? Fantastic.

"Don't let it worry you. It's me. I'm extremely famous."

I did not get enough Hermione, but I never get enough Hermione, so.

How the hell am I supposed to sign off from this post? I love you guys and I’m heartbroken that we’re done the books but at least we have another opportunity for GIF dumping and internet hugs next week with the wrap up? OK. That.

Friday, 7 June 2013

HP Friday: Lee Jordan, still the best.

Darlings, dearests, dumplings, it's been forever. Since my last post, I've moved to Fort St. John in the semi-North; but that is a post for another day, because today, my snorsnacks, is Harry Potter Friday. Thank you Alice, as ever, for bringing us together.

This section was super sad, made sadder by the knowledge that the saddest sads are yet to come.

So many things made me weepy in this section:

Luna had decorated her bedroom ceiling with five beautifully painted faces: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Neville. [...] What appeared to be fine golden chains wove around the pictures, linking them together, but after examining them for a minute or so, Harry realised that the chains were actually one word, repeated a thousand times in golden ink: friends ... friends ... friends ...

While Hermione is being tortured above him, Harry "sees Ron running around the cellar, looking up at the low ceiling, searching for a trapdoor. [...] Ron was now trying to Disapparate without a wand."


Dobby's hand jerked in his.

Ron sat on the edge of the grave and stripped off his shoes and socks, which he placed upon the elf's bare feet.

"Thank you so much, Dobby, for rescuing me from that cellar. It's so unfair that you had to die, when you were so good and brave. I'll always remember what you did for us. I hope you're happy now."


So, alright, other things. Harry chooses Draco's wand because it feels friendlier. Is this because Harry and Draco have a love that endures forever, do we think, or because Harry won it back in CoS what with the dueling and the introduction of expellioverusedmus? 

And how did Harry Apparate to Shell Cottage if it had the Fidelius Charm on it?

And how can we begin to deal with this readalong coming to an end?

We CAN'T, is how.