Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I Can't Really Help It

I am really and truly starting to get excited about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Let me tell you, July 15 can not get here quickly enough.

I've already asked my super wonderful mother-in-law to pretty please consider babysitting that day so I can go see it. I am sort of trying to convince my husband to take the day off of work so we can go see it together and as early in the day as possible.

The corners of the internet that I frequent are abuzz in a pretty much non-stop flow of details popping up here and there about the film. Not all of them are spoilers, mind you (well, not for anyone who has read the books). There are bits about the casts saying their final farewells and doing interviews about the experience now that it is almost completely totally over. There are just posters for the film being released for each of the characters, and trailers abound, of course.

I am as curious to see what is new and different from the book as I am excited about finally getting to see this epic tale--and it is epic, make no mistake about that--come to its visual conclusion.

The stars lined up wonderfully when Part 1 came out last November. My husband and I just happened to have planned a weekend away to Austin, just the two of us, that coincided with the film's release. I left the theater absolutely amazed and in awe. It was so fantastic! How on Earth was I going to be able to wait another eight months to see the rest of it??????

But those eight months are almost gone by. It is almost here. Every day there is something new out there to keep my anticipation elevated.

I may have mentioned here that I have been reading the Harry Potter books to my daughter at bedtime. It is slow going, we only get through about half a chapter a night. I know she is too little to truly understand, but I am establishing the routine of a story at bedtime, sharing with her something I love (setting the groundwork for it to worm its way into her consciousness and effortlessly become a beloved part of her life later down the road), and it is a chance to read through the series again. We are about half-way through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows right now. We are almost to the part where the first movie ended. Each night as I read to her, it gets more and more difficult to hold back, and to stop for the evening.

When this book was released, I was almost done with my reread of the first six stories in the series. In fact, I was finishing up The Half-Blood Prince when it arrived (I had pre-ordered it and, of course, selected same-day delivery). As soon as I finished book six I picked up my lovely copy of the final book in this cherished series, took a deep breath, and dove right in. I did not come up for air until I had finished. I stayed up until about six o'clock the next morning reading the entire thing. I could barely make myself stop to eat that day, I just couldn't put the book down. Reading it now in bits and pieces is an exercise in patience unlike any other I have ever known. Probably, it's good for me, but still. It is a challenge.

I have a predilection for books that come in series. Be they trilogies or more drawn-out affairs, I like getting several books to get to know a world and its inhabitants. Many of them I have read through two, maybe even three times. But I have lost count of how many times I have read and reread the stories so masterfully told by J.K. Rowling. These are books that I pick up only to find myself utterly lost within their pages.

Rowling has worked a powerful magic in writing these books, and I will forever be grateful to her for giving them to us. She could have easily accepted the movie deals and stepped back, letting Hollywood have its way with her work, but instead she was involved almost every step of the way through all eight films. These movies certainly have their ups and downs, but there is no denying that they have magic in their own right as well. I absolutely cannot wait to see what the final installment holds in store for us! I have no doubt I will be thoroughly enchanted.

So, to J.K. Rowling, I tip my hat. From the very bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. These are stories that will weather the generations, in both formats, I'd wager. I fully expect to be reading them to my grandchildren one day. Thank you for inviting me with you on this long, strange, wonderful journey. My life has been all the better for it.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is how writing is done right.

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