Archives for July 2011

Harry Potter Magic

Yesterday evening, my sister and I went to the theater and saw the last installment of the Harry Potter series (loooved) and the experience sparked an idea for a blog post.

I first met Harry while in college. The fourth book (Goblet of Fire) had been published and everywhere around me, people buzzed about the series. I remember thinking something disparaging, something about the Harry Potter craze being silly and blown out of proportion. Besides, the books were written for kids, right?

A sucker to peer pressure (in some things, at least), I decided to read the first book, just to see what all the hullabaloo was about.

I have never looked back. J.K. Rowling mesmerized me with her story-telling. In fact, I am indebted to her. Before Harry, I was a reluctant reader. Heavy doses of academic writing, made infinitely worse by grade pressures, had made me allergic to books. Reading – rather than being a treat – was a chore. 

Come to think of it, my decision to pursue writing most likely stems at least partially from my experience with the HP books. 

So, why do I love the series (and the movies) so much? I can’t really put my finger on it. 

It could be:

The Hero. Harry, by no means flawless, is the Chosen One for a reason. And it has less to do with his defeating Voldemort than the fact that he doesn’t keep the Elder Wand, the most powerful wand in history, after doing so.
-The Others. Harry and Voldemort aside, the books have plenty of interesting characters spread along the spectrum of good and evil that make me examine myself and my own motives. And the character transformations throughout the books? Think Neville Longbottom (go, Neville!!).  
The Details. The Marauder’s Map. The food magically served at the tables at Hogwarts. The varying properties of wands. Hermione’s passionate fight for the house elves and Dobby the Free Elf (yes, I totally bawled in Hallows, part 1) 
-The Names. Luna Lovegood. Pius Thicknesse. Kingsley Shacklebolt. The Nimbus 2000. Diagon Alley. Hogwarts. 
The Themes. Greed. Friendship. Sacrifice. Compassion. Prejudice. Selfishness. Forgiveness. Community. Heroism. Hope. This is the stuff the HP series, and life, is made of. 

Or could it be Rowling’s use of magic as a literary device? Or her exploration of the power and allure of evil, and characters’ reasons for choosing it (consider Bellatrix and her obsession with the Dark Lord, Wormtail and his desire for the protection by those stronger than him, Lucius Malfoy and his opportunism). Or perhaps it’s because J.K. makes us feel right at home in her world.

Or maybe it’s just magic.  

Are you having a crummy day?


crummyIt’s been a while since I wrote my latest blog post and I feel like much has happened since then. A few highlights: our little family drove down to San Diego for a mini-vacation, my youngest sister arrived from overseas (she’s playing the role of nanny while I play the role of writer!), and we celebrated Baby L’s first 4th of July (hence the patriotic picture to the left).

Oh, and my sister and I (plus baby!) spent a few days at girls’ camp up in the mountains. My assignment (calling) in the church I belong to is to help out with the young women’s (ages 12-17) program in our area, so that’s how I ended up camping. I decided to bring the baby, which turned out to be easier than I thought –  he LOVED the tent and slept really well next to me on the air mattress. The girls quickly fell under his spell. I tell you, there’s something in that boy’s eyes…

Apart from spending time at a local pool (can’t rough it all the time), watching the girls do some neat crafts, and walking around with Baby L in the BabyBjorn so he could get in a nap once in a while, we also had attended an AWESOME talent show. The girls were so inventive and, well, talented. And guess who contributed? That’s right, I did! Twice!

Well, the first time wasn’t really that successful, so I won’t delve into that (it included story-telling on the spot, something I’m not particularly good at). The second time, I read a poem I wrote about a month ago to cheer up a young lady who was having some medical issues (the young lady in question actually attended camp, too, now radiant and healthy!)

So, I’ve decided to take the leap and share with you a piece of my writing (well, something except blog writing…you know what I mean). My hope is that this humble piece offering (pun intended) will make your day just a little bit brighter. So, without further ado, here is the poem!

If You’re Having a Crummy Day
By Angelica Hagman
If you’re having a crummy day,Imagine yourself in a land and a time far awayWhere Princes and Princesses rule at land and at sea

And where awe-inspiring creatures roam, happy and free

Where a handsome knight in front of you lands

And swears his undying love while kissing your hands

But then again, be careful – you never know

That very same knight might drop his armor on your toe,

A monster with exceedingly bad breath devour you in a single bite,

Or those Princes and Princesses chuck you in a dungeon without light

On second thought, disregard my original advice –

Stay in the here and now, because no matter how crummy your day…

There’s still a chance it’ll turn out nice!

Well, that wasn’t so hard, was it, Angelica?*eerie silence*Anyway, the poem actually fit in quite nicely because the camp had a princess-y theme (Heavenly Ever After – Daughters of a Heavenly King). I think the girls liked it? (I don’t really want to know if they didn’t, hehe…)If my poem didn’t make you smile, maybe this related joke (also told at camp) will:

Question: Why did the cookie go to the hospital?
Anwer: Because it felt crummy.

You know you love it. =)