Some “Research”

Cover of en:The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 1900 Wizard

We visited my parents yesterday and had a great time. It’s always nice to eat a nice Sunday dinner cooked by Mom. My daughter was also able to get her fix of chasing around the cats. Actually, she does really well with them. We were also able to spend time with my Grandfather, which is nice. I think he really enjoys seeing all of us, and loves my daughter.

While I was visiting, I decided to borrow the first Harry Potter book from my Dad. I haven’t read that one in a long time. My plan is to read it, in the name of research. Really, what I’m trying to get at is what made that book so appealing to kids, in the hope of putting a little of that into my novel. I’m not saying I’m going to copy it, but it doesn’t hurt to learn from the best (most successful).

I haven’t shaved since Wednesday, and am getting a little “scruffy” as my wife would say. Yes, the playoff beard is still there, but not pretty.

BBC America has released a commentary track for the Doctor Who Series 3 finale on their web site. This commentary wasn’t on the DVDs. The commentary features David Tennant, Freema Agyeman, and John Barrowman. Episode 1 of Series 4 airs on the SciFi channel this Friday. I can’t wait!


7 thoughts on “Some “Research”

  1. I watched episode 2 on Saturday – much better than episode 1 but still can’t get my head around Catherine Tate as his new assistant….

    I’m dying for you to see episode 1 to see what you think of it (and the surprise!!!!!)

    I think that after watching ‘Torchwood’ which is a sort of adult version of Doctor Who (anagram, gettit?) with John Barrowman, I’m finding Doctor Who a bit…well, childish, I suppose. I’ll get back into it eventually – probably when Martha re-appears! Are you due to get ‘Torchwood’?

    Glad you are sticking with the beard and that you had a good weekend with your folks.

    Enjoy Harry P. I read and re-read them, they are so good!

  2. I’ve also tried to analyse why Harry Potter is so appealing. When I read the books I feel as if I’m eating chocolate – I want to eat more. My conclusions were that J. K. Rowling is a strong storyteller and she retells the kind of Arthurian/Merlin/Magic type story that so many people are familiar with – when you read her novels you have the excitement of a strong plot, finding out what’s going to happen next, combined with this nostalgic familiarity and feeling at home in the world she creates. Of course there is more to it than that. I just wish there was an eighth book in the series!

    I wish my family were nearby. My grandad recently passed away. I tried to tell Kiko but he’s too young to understand. I’d love him to spend more time with the family on both sides. Every moment is precious.

  3. Helen – thanks for the great comment there. I think what you are saying is so true. People like to criticize Ms. Rowling because of her writing, but I think they are jealous or miss the point. The point is to entertain an audience, which she seems to do better than most everyone.

    Sorry to hear about your granddad. I thought my daughter was too young to remember my Grandmother that passed away this year, but yesterday she asked my wife if we could visit “Yia Yia”.

  4. Yes do re-read your Potter. I often do. And also, if you commute at all, the local library probably has the book on tape. (When we drove to Florida last year how grateful I was to have Harry). I am all for research, and this type is enjoyable. Generally I am not good at breaking things down, and seeing the value of the parts. I always get swept along in the story. Besides re-reading you also might went to check out a book in your local book store that discusses the series in literary terms. The name of said book? Quite beyond me to remember, but I know it exists.

    A component of the series which has surprised and touched me- that JK Rowling has given Harry a perpetual element (which reminds me of elements in Jane Eyre and some other classics) of isolation, firstly by mistreatment from those he was in the care of (add in the whole orphan thing), and then time again he will be doubted by the wizarding world, and the other students at Hogwarts. His fame even causes some of it, at times threatening his relationship with Ron. He feels alone again and again, while struggling for his sense of place/identity, and to be true to what he believes, to feel his value, and to connect to others. I expected this not to continue on through the series, but one way or another it does. This contrasts with Harry’s moments of pure connection and joy, which are woven in and out through the story as well. I think the play of isolation and connection helps form a strong emotional connection for the reader to Harry and his tale. ( I would have thought kids would have found reading about feelings of isolation and yearning for acceptance/connection, off putting, but clearly they identify.

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