Last November, I was among the throngs of over-excited moviegoers to show up-strung out on caffeine and ready to go- at a nearby cinema for the 12:01 AM showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was everything I hoped it would be and more, and I mean that without the slightest bit of irony or sarcasm [which is more than I can say for every other time I express myself].
To put it another way, I reread the entire series at the beginning of 2011, to “kick of my year in a big way”; just after I received my own hand-carved, custom made wand for Christmas [and to answer you nerds out there: it doesn’t have a core. . . not one that is clearly visible, anyway].
I make no apologies about knowing what House I would want to be in, or thinking of bizarre and obscure costumes for the final premiere. In fact, I could spend all day talking about the brilliant character development, foreshadowing, and allegory that goes on. But that’s not what we came here to talk about.
In the [not as precisely as it should be titled] Biography section of her website, JK Rowling writes the following [which would technically make it an Autobiography section, but who asked me?]:
“It was after a weekend’s flat-hunting, when I was travelling back to London on my own on a crowded train, that the idea for Harry Potter simply fell into my head.”
Okay. Whoa. Hold on, JK. Back up the Love Truck.
Let me get this straight.
You’re telling me the idea for an epic contemporary fantasy series-whose influence is already being compared to Tolkein and Lewis– “fell into your head”? It just happened to you on the train? Just like that?
As someone with frequent creative dry spells, who longs to be a published writer-and appreciated artist in general-that whole idea miffs me. I feel like I have to fight tooth and nail to come up with blogs that a few might read, and even fewer might comment on. Or poems that my writing group will dissect and scrutinize [and rightly so. . . I am no T.S. Eliot].
I would not normally try to pick an ideological fight with the mind responsible for Albus Dumbledore. But I have to differ here. And not just because I am bitter or jealous of the uncanny combination of luck and brilliance that apparently aligns itself for some people.
When I read Patti’s book, I remember being awed at how she and Robert would share meals to have enough money to buy art supplies. I understand that the inspiration and the process are two different things. And I’m no idiot. I know Rowling worked hard [I have mad respect for single moms, I promise you that].
I guess my point is, I would love for a million dollar idea to fall into my head whilst utilizing mass transit. But I can’t hold my breath for that.
Tonight, I was sitting in the cafe, scribbling bits of poetry and drawings on a long stream of reciept paper. And I realized I was content, working with the materials at hand; musing and molding and forcing them into something that might be pretty to someone.
And I console myself: I am still an artist, come feast or famine.