Sunday, July 22, 2007

Don't Hate Me Harry, I'm Only Human

Okay, there must be something wrong with me. Tell me what you think. I can take it. As my son likes to say about himself, I can cry but I'm tough.

Confession #1: I've never read a Harry Potter book. Never ever ever. Not one word.

Let the flogging begin ...

It's become sort of a secret shame, this, as the phenomenon has grown into a full-blown, decade-long international obsession. It's something to be hidden, to be guarded. To be danced around, cleverly, like a pagan bonfire. Whatever that means.

I even have children for heaven's sake, who have, by the way, actually read one or two of the books. They own at least three in the series, though I've not purchased them new in hardcover, only in paperback or at the library book sale for a buck. They've enjoyed them but have not scrambled to read the rest, and that's probably my fault, too, because we've seen all the movies. Blasphemy, I know.

So why, you say, haven't I read them, at least one of them?

Excuse #1: I was a new-ish mother when the first book came out. I was interested, but reading hadn't exactly been worked back into the daily schedule at that time. That took exactly 3.264 years to get back to normal, in case you were wondering. And then she just kept cranking the tomes out, and each time a new book arrived I was further behind the rest of the world in hanging on the every word of the young boy wizard. And there are a lot of words, more and more all the time it seems.

Excuse #2 (the real one): But really, I think, on some level it's a bit of jealousy. Which brings me to ...

Confession #2: I want to be J.K. Rowling.

Not that I don't love my life, I do. Here's the obligatory guilt-induced disclaimer: My family is fantastic, my home is, well, home, and I've done a few interesting things throughout my uneven and often accidental professional past.

But as a writer, I want to be her. I want to be the one with The Idea, the fantastic, never-done-before, no-one-has-ever-seen-anything-like-it idea, executed with brilliant wit and charm and literary clarity. I don't care about the notoriety so much but the achievement, the achievement would be amazing, wouldn't it? Because after all aren't most artists (writers included) after just a little smidge of immortality? Aren't we?

Rowling's certainly got it. And her little wizard, too.

Perhaps it would be a great growth experience if I just got over it. I could start reading the books now; after all, she's written the last one, so it's not as if I'll get any further behind. I'll read them with my kids, and redeem myself twice over.

And who knows? Maybe, just maybe, I'll be inspired. Or maybe I'll just crawl into bed for three days and pull the covers over my head.

I'll let you know how it turns out.


Robin said...

Fret not! I've never read one of them either.

christina cedeno said...

Oh dear, you may want to be a great writer but trust me.. you DONT want to be JK Rowling, why? Because she is a bloody B*TCH!Ink slinging diva.