Guest Post: HogPro in Bellingham, WA!

Last week I traveled to Forks, Washington, for Literature Inspired Fan Events’ (LIFE) Summer School in Forks: A Twilight Symposium. (For more about that wow event see Forks High School People magazine, or MTV news.) On my way home, I visited Stephen Schumacher in Port Townsend, the friend who insisted I write up Hidden Key to Harry Potter in 2002, and Mark Shea in Seattle, a Harry Potter supporter in the Catholic blogosphere. Library Lily, a HogPro All-Pro, created a bookstore speaking event in Bellingham, her hometown, which allowed me to visit Don Holmes, a dear friend who encouraged me like a father when I needed that desperately. I begged Library Lily to write up the event so you could hear about from someone other than the croaking toad himself and she submitted this report (also available on her weBlog, A Light Inside):

The Hogwarts Professor in Bellingham

The Hogwarts Professor (John Granger) spoke at Village Books Monday night, much to my excitement. As a regular commenter at the HogPro website, I had once mentioned living in Bellingham, and John said he had a friend in town that he wished to visit and asked if I would be willing to set up an author event at a local bookstore. [Read more…]

Chamber of Secrets: Harry’s Eye-dentity

Today at lunch I was talking with my family about the talks I’ll be giving at Summer School in Forks: A Twilight Symposium (Register today, if you haven’t already!). The first one will be Bella Swan at Hogwarts: The Important Influence of the Potter Novels and Potter Mania on Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. I’ll be discussing the similarities and differences in how Mrs. Meyer and Rowling use story voice to win reader buy-in and identification, apply Gothic touches for a ‘fallen world’ backdrop, build a school setting, blend genres, foster a ‘shipping controversy, push the pervasive message that choice is the life-defining value, and develop a theme of hidden magic in which supernatural reality is just out of sight.

At lunch, though, what I talked about was eyeballs, because both these authors hang much of their meaning on their use of eyeballs in an exploration of ‘vision.’ [If you want to read about this as it applies to the meaning of Harry Potter, see chapter 5 of my The Deathly Hallows Lectures, ‘The Seeing Eye.’] My children have heard the Deathly Hallows eyeball lecture enough times that they can verbally reel off the five eyeballs in the series finale without straining and they were curious to hear about the Twilight eyes. I made an aside to my eight year old, Zossima, about Harry being a story symbol for spiritual vision, hence his ability to see but not be seen under the Invisibility Cloak. The Z-Man responded, “Just like in the Flying Car in Chamber of Secrets.” [Read more…]

New Dinosaur Dragon: ‘Dracorex Hogwartsia’

I kid you not. It seems the bones of this dinosaur resembled a dragon sufficiently that the scientists involved named it

Dracorex hogwartsia in honor of children’s author J.K. Rowling. “The shape of the dinosaur’s skull, with its long muzzle, bizarre knobs and horns, surprised the scientists,” she said. “But the skull looks strangely familiar to anyone who has studied dragons! Dracorex has a remarkable resemblance to the dragons of ancient China and medieval Europe.”

(H/T Nicole!)

Harry Potter First Edition Auction: $100 G’s?

In case you have some extra cash on hand and you’re looking for a safe investment, Auction Traders wants you to know that there is a Potter auction in Dallas not to be missed: [Read more…]

NY C.S.Lewis Society 40th Anniversary: Be There!

Read all about the 40th Anniversary Weekend Symposium for the New York C.S. Lewis Society! [Read more…]