Saturday, July 16, 2011


You all know by know that the final Harry Potter movie (Harry Potter 7.2 as people at my work like to call it) has come out. It would officially bring the end of to the Potter world except its creator came up with something called Pottermore.

Today at lunch my family was discussing the Potter series. I mentioned something about how some professor somewhere had created a Pottermania college class. Where isn't really important. It's college. Pottermania. In. College.

The Boy Who Lived Becomes The Boy Most Read

The potter series does hit on a lot of psychological archetypes. That's why it hits home to so many readers. Wether or not they connect to "The Boy Who Lived" there are enough characters in the series that most readers, especially young ones, can identify. Who hasn't wanted to punch the rich, uppity kid in the nose like Hermione did to Malfoy? You may not admit it but did you experience that awkward relationship stage like Harry and pretty much every other character he came into contact with, especially girls he was attracted to? Did you know a Luna, someone in you school who thought a little more outside the box? What about a Neville, the quiet, loyal intelligent guy who didn't have the self-esteem or whatever it takes to really shine until when it really counts? Then there's the Crab and Goyle (sp?) the dim wit thugs. Come on, my school had at least a dozen of them. They're not always large but they are always dim and cruel.

Like Harry, Want To Be Like Harry

Harry is the ideal of what everyone always wants to be when they are growing up, awkward and going to school. He's got the talent, the scars (and we know chicks dig scars), he's a jock and a bit of a geek too. He gets it all and the chance to spit in the face of ultimate evil. In some way we all imagine ourselves a little bit like Harry. Or at least we would if we had a wand made from phoenix feather, a broomstick faster than any other and a lightning bolt scar on our forehead. So maybe we don't ALL want to be Harry but J.K. Rawling in her crafting of the Potter world created characters that we relate to. Because of that, many manic fans will have a large empty void in their hearts similar to when I don't get to eat the last bite of tri-tip. Come on, "You would cry too if it happened to you."

Lunch Topic: Do you think J.K. Rawling did it on purpose?

Yes: I'm sure she wrote based on her experiences in life and in school. Perhaps she knew some punk rich kid named Luke Foy, spruced up the name a bit added "mal" Spanish for bad, to "Foy" and came up with Lucious Malfoy. (I spelled it both ways because I don't know how she spells it.)

No: I don't think she looked up psychological archetypes and thought "How can I get 'Racial Outcast' 'Class Outcast' and 'Orphan' all together as friends?" She probably thought, "How can I create characters that fill a role in the story and feel real to my reader?"

I Knew Dumbledore Had To Die

Archetypes are great for writers. They help the story move forward because we, the writers, know what to expect from them and what we want out of them. That's why I knew 2 books ahead of time that Dumbledore was going to die. He had to as part of Harry's "journey into manhood". You can hate me for saying it and Rowling for doing it but it's true nonetheless. Obi Wan had to die and so did Dumbledore.

Archetypes played a large role in Rowling's success. But that was just part of the formula. You need to throw in her creativity and writing before you get success.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Freedom Isn't Free

May We Never Forget

On September 1, 2010 Captain Ellery Wallace of the 101st Airborne was killed by a rocket propelled grenade in Afghanistan.

Approximately 6 months later, at an event held by the UT state legislature, his wife would join families of too many other members of the military who had died in the Middle East.

"Freedom isn't free," she said, tears filling her eyes. Cpt. Wallace's youngest daughter would turn 3-years-old just days after the legislative event.

"Those who are left behind, we'll never forget," Janelle said. 1,649 families made up of mothers and wives, sons and daughters, husbands and father will always remember the true cost of the fighting in Afghanistan.

Later in the Fall, a young father was in a serious firefight. A fellow soldier had been shot by a sniper. This young man, a medic, ran out from his protective cover and shielded the wounded soldier with his body whil he attended to his wounds. He became the sniper's next target. His name was Jordan Byrd and he had only been a father for a matter of days. Now his young bride is a widow. His child, fatherless.

How Do You Measure Freedom's Value?

The value of our freedom cannot be measured in dollars and cents, gold or silver. The value of our freedom is measured in the mettle of the men and women who protect it. Freedome isn't free. You see, those 1,649 men and women who most recently have given their lives protecting our right to choose are following a path that has long been forged by those who put the value and love of something outside of themselves above their own lives. They are following in the Savior's footsteps.

His Example

The Savior came to this world, dedicated his life to service and in the end laid it down so that we all might have the ability to choose for ourselves. The men and women of the military dedicate their lives to service and too many of them lay down their lives so that we all might have the ability to choose for ourselves.

You Have A Choice

What will you do with your choice? A wise man once told me we will go where we feel most comfortable, where will you choose to go?

May We Always Remember Them

I am grateful for the sacrifice, honor, and service of the Savior. I am grateful for the sacrifice, honor, and service of the heroes in the military. Those brave men and women may not be perfect, they may even be far from it but at the end of the day they are willing to put their lives on the line for someone else.

Freedom Isn't Free

No, freedom isn't free. Someone paid the price for yours. I hope and pray you use it well. We owe it to them, the heroes of the world.