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A Fond Farewell.

Thursday, May 01st, 2014 | Author: potterpensieve

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MTTSDH: The Big Change

Saturday, July 21st, 2012 | Author: Heather

Today is a doubly important anniversary for me. 43 years since the Apollo 11 moon landing and 5 years since the Deathly Hallows book release party.

Exactly five years ago today I was sitting in a crowded Barnes & Noble trying not to follow the employee dressed as Snape into the backroom and steal all of the books. I have better self-control now.

Five years ago today I wanted a drink from Starbucks but I didn’t know how to order. I now order far too much there.

Five years ago today I won a Harry Potter trivia contest. Since then I have placed second in my region at a trivia competition.

Five years ago today I was looking up at the star Regulus in the heart of Leo and wondering if any of my theories would come true. Some did and some didn’t. But now I know why the stars burn.

Five years ago today I was starting to get tired. Now there are some nights when I don’t sleep until 4.

All of these are changes in my life that have happened since Deathly Hallows was released. They’re small, but when combined with each other they add up to a bigger one. I have become myself. I have gained confidence. I’m less awkward. I can make friends. My outlook on life has changed. I no longer think of the world as dull. I think of it teeming with endless possibilities. And all of this because of Harry Potter.

If there is one thing I am grateful to Harry Potter for, it’s myself. I am grateful for the person Harry Potter and its environment of fans has given me. I am grateful for how it has shaped my own being. And the books continue to mold my life every time I open one. That’s why it’s important to remember that even if the reading experience is drastically different your fifth time around as compared to your 2nd, the books haven’t changed; you have. They’ve changed you.

So as I raise my glass of sparkling grape juice tonight to toast Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, I will also be thanking J.K. Rowling.

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MTTSDH: Confidence Grows

Friday, July 20th, 2012 | Author: Heather

Here is an obvious fact: If it hadn’t been for Harry Potter then you wouldn’t be reading this. Because obviously this website wouldn’t exist and you would have no idea who I am and you would never go searching for other things that I’ve done. But what I mean is that you never would read anything that I wrote. Ever. If it weren’t for Harry Potter everything that I have ever written would be hidden away in a box and even I would be too embarrassed to read it.

You see, if there were only one thing that Harry Potter has given me, it would be confidence. I was always the shy and awkward kid who didn’t understand social graces. You’ve all heard the story before. I kept all of my writing or anything creative I did a secret and would tell no one about it. While I will on occasion do that today, I have become more and more comfortable expressing myself to the world at large. And the reason for that os the Harry Potter fandom.

When I first started to discover the fandom in 2006 it was alive and vibrant. There were so many amazing pieces of fan-art and well written fan-fiction and beautifully edited videos and passionate songs. It seemed like some sort of strange, counter-culture society where everyone just did what they loved. And what they loved was Harry Potter. As a 12 year old kid I was influenced by all of these amazingly talented people. “Some of them aren’t much older than me,” I thought. “I could definitely do this.”

And so I did. I drew some fan-art and wrote some fan-fiction and even composed my own songs in my head. I did this before the Harry Potter fandom, of course, but the difference now was that I wasn’t ashamed of it. Even when my portraits of Snape looked more like weasels in hats I was proud and happy because I was surrounded by support. And all of these people sharing their work influenced me to share my own until eventually, I was no longer embarrassed when people read something that I wrote. When there are other people submitting creative endeavors to the void that is the internet, it doesn’t seem as scary.

Without Harry Potter I wouldn’t have taught myself to play the guitar. I wouldn’t have started making my own videos. I wouldn’t have started this podcast with Adam and I definitely wouldn’t be sharing any thoughts with strangers like this! So thank you, Harry. In the last five years I have only become more confident and I hope that I continue on this path no matter who cares to join me.

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MTTSDH: How To Fight Post-Potter Depression

Thursday, July 19th, 2012 | Author: Heather

Hello, Pensievers and welcome to day three of my Deathly Hallows anniversary series. Today we’re going to tackle a topic that I’m sure you’re all familiar with: Post-Potter Depression. For those of you who don’t know, Post-Potter Depression is the feeling of loss and confusion that follows any prolonged interaction with Harry Potter, such as a conference, a movie premiere, or a book release. Traditionally, this term was applied to fans who, after reading the final book, became overwhelmed by the series ending and expressed symptoms similar to actual clinical depression such as loss of appetite, hypersomnia, and disinterest in previously enjoyed activities. Similarities were taken even further when someone was rumored to have started a hotline simply for those suffering from Post-Potter Depression.

Since Potter has been in its “Post” phase for nearly five years now, the term has involved to include all of the examples stated above and also applies to a situation wherein a fan is suddenly overcome with sadness at the prospect of never going to another midnight release or, in its loosest terms, whenever someone because emotionally swamped by anything relating to Potter. Based on that criteria, it’s clearly a pretty common occurrence. So I thought I would give you a list on the best ways to deal with Post-Potter Depression.

1.) Talk with someone. Like actual depression, talking with someone about your Post-Potter Depression can be a real help. Discuss theories and unanswered questions and strange facts about the wizarding world. It can help you sort out your thoughts, give you comfort, and assure you that other people are going through the same thing. (Are you noticing a theme this week?)

2.) Reread the books! It’s simple but it really works. Read the books one at a time and you can pretend that they’re completely new to you. This also works with the movies. And it’s basically what we’ve been doing with this podcast for two and a half years. So far we’re doing fine!

3.) Have a Harry Potter night! Gather some nerd friends and dedicate the night entirely to our favorite boy wizard. Make some Potter-themed food, have trivia and costume contests, and see if you can dig up some old HP boardgames. If you can’t find any, make your own! Rename all of the squares on Monopoly after places in the wizarding world. You can do the same with the countries in Risk. Or play Life and make it completely magical with wizarding jobs, broomsticks, Floo Network Insurance, etc. Be creative. And make sure to name any kids after Harry Potter characters. (More points for the more obscure they are.)  Parties like this give you the perfect opportunity to escape your world and live magically while bonding with old friends over something you love.

4.) Find a day where you don’t have any plans and just spend it geeking out. Listen to old podcasts, rewatch weird Harry Potter videos on youtube, have a Wizard Rock dance party, dress up, make your little sister duel with you. Take the chance to completely embrace your weirder side and just have fun. There’s no judgement in Harry Potter so now’s the time to let out any nerdiness you’ve been hiding. Just have fun and let your imagination run wild for a day. You’ll feel better and more equipped for the muggle world if you give your magical side a day to run free.

5.) Get creative! Find something that you like to do and channel your energy and love of Harry Potter into it. This could be anything from replicating the portrait of Sirius Black’s mum to writing fan-fiction to putting together a cute outfit that was inspired by your favorite character. Do anything to keep the magic alive. And if it’s not so much the actual canon that you miss as it is the environment and energy, then find something else that you can get involved in. Whatever your passion is, don’t be afraid to show your enthusiasm. Create or find something new that you love.

I hope that these suggestions helped. Just remember that it’s not over unless we let it be. So stay involved with what you love!

(P.S. If anyone actually DOES replicate the picture of Mrs. Black then we would SIRIUSLY love to see it. Like, really, really, really want to see it.)

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Measuring The Time Since Deathly Hallows: In Friendship

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012 | Author: Heather

I spent this past weekend with my good friend Kara. I met Kara at LeakyCon 2009 and we’ve managed to see each other at least once a year since. So this seems like the perfect time to talk about something that is one of the most important aspects of Harry Potter to me: the friendships.

I’ve been reading Harry Potter for 12 years and in that time the fandom has changed a lot. The websites have become more professional, the movers and shakers have changed, and lord knows we’ve gotten older. But the thing that has stayed the same is the sense of belonging that you get from the people.

I’ve found that wherever I am, in whatever situation, whomever I’m trying to connect with, if they like Harry Potter then we can get along based on that mutual ground. Maybe I’m just biased, but people who like Harry Potter are, on a whole, nicer, smarter, and more interesting than people who don’t.

And maybe that’s why I’ve met so many of my best friends through Harry Potter. When I went to LeakyCon in 2009 it was like going home. It was like going to the Burrow. I felt like Harry when he first entered Hogwarts and people were chanting his name. I felt understood and like I belonged.

Harry Potter has become so much more than a book series. It has become a method of connecting people across the world. I have friends in Nevada and Germany and Brazil and Canada who I never would have met if it weren’t for Harry Potter. If someone had told me while I counted down until midnight on July 21st, 2007 that I would be meeting people like Adam and Hollie and Thio in just a couple short years, I wouldn’t have believed them. Because growing up I thought that no one would ever be able to understand me like my Harry Potter books do. But my HP friends do. They completely get it. They get the stress and the anticipation and the anguish and excitement and joy and everything else that comes with being a Harry Potter fan. Because they’ve felt it, too. And everyday I’m grateful that my younger self was wrong about that.

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