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Archive for December, 2003

Azkaban and Websites

Monday, December 1st, 2003

Lately I have been becoming an expert on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I haven’t (really) been doing it on purpose either. So far I think I’ve listened to or read the first third of that book 5 or more times in the last few months. I haven’t read Prisoner of Azkaban since I first read it years ago, and I couldn’t remember much of it at all. I had been reading the hardcover in my spare time at the end of the summer. Then, we listened up through the chapter “Grim Defeat” over the course of a couple weeks as we drove around town. Then on our Lake Powell trip we started from the beginning of the audio tapes again. By the end of that trip we had read almost up to “Grim Defeat” again. Shortly thereafter I started reading the hardcover to Ethan as a bedtime story each night, starting from the beginning. We finished the chapter “Grim Defeat” a week ago and are now about to start “The Firebolt”. Also soon after the last Lake Powell trip we got the audio books back in our car. Since we couldn’t really remember where we’d listened up through… we started again at the beginning! When we finished the third tape we found that the fourth tape had tiwsted and knotted itself inside the casette. We skipped to the fifth tape and are now half-way though chapter 14, “Snapes Grudge”.

So any of you non-Potter-philes are probably thinking “I would found a place to start from instead of starting from the beginning so many times!” Well. Maybe you don’t understand, but I’m sure all the milllion other Potter fans out there understand completely when I say it’s been a real treat. Charla recently read Prisoner of Azkaban as well, and upon finishing it, was bored … and started reading it again from the beginning. Such behavior I don’t believe to be uncommon at all for the average Harry Potter reader.

So what is it that makes JK Rowling’s first series so enchanting? Because there is something magical about it. I don’t think there has ever been one other book, branded as a children’s book, but so enraptuing that it pulls just as many adults into it as it does children. The books don’t get their addiction from the same devices that David Eddings, Robert Jordan or Terry Brooks use in their cult-forming books. No, that is one of the things I like so much about these books: they don’t dwell on the nature of magic or the techincalities of spellwork. When I read the Belgariad and Mallorean by David Eddings as a teenager I was so enamoured with the idea of “will” and it’s power that I sat for hours in my room in deep concentration trying to invoke my own “will”. Such experiences have so completely drove me away from fantasy books like those. Granted, the Harry Potter series is getting darker as it progresses, but they have a Long way to go before they reach the darkness of any of the Shannara books by Terry Brooks.

The other thing keeping me busy of late is working on this website and a new website for my Sister-in-Law Michele. She makes custom jewelry and has been talking about setting up a website to retail/wholesale her products. We set up for her and have done some simple home page branding so far. She needs to have a website in order to register for upcoming trade shows I think. It has been a while since I’ve gotten into Adobe PhotoShop and web work. Graphics and HTML was my primary function 5 years ago when I worked for Bizcom Intl. (curses under breath). Since then I have done close to nothing besides the occaisional photo-enhancements and such.

Also I’ve added a Grandparents section to our website. It is password-protected section where we can share pics, stories, and more without the prying eyes of the world. So far I’ve added one of Ethan’s creations, and entered a bunch of past Ethan stories. I’ve added video of ethan describing his “Follow Track” in true Ethan-style description. I will be adding Moey stories and Image Galleries for both of my children.

As general news goes, we are just getting over the flu and Thanksgiving stuffings. We had a good traditional thanksgiving dinner at the Buchanan’s and got to take home some pies from the Buchanan’s and some rolls my Mother-in-law cooked for her thanksgiving. I can handle leftover rolls and pie. I’ve never been much of a fan of leftover turkey.

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