Waiting for My Hogwarts Letter (aka: Still a Harry Potter Nerd)

Happy dance! I am such a proud mother right now. No, not because my kids had great report cards or other outstanding  achievements. I am feeling super-proud of my 9-yo son, who is more than halfway finished reading the sixth book in the Harry Potter series. Not only is he enjoying the books, but he has been happily exploring the Pottermore website and talking with his friends about the books. He and his buddies have even created their own game of wizards, complete with magic wands and spell books full of magical spells to memorize and perform on each other. Hooray!


Harry Potter Book Collection

To understand why that makes me so happy, you must know that I am a hard-core Harry Potter nerd. Or, as we like to put it, a Potterhead. Ever since I first opened the pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone years ago, I became rather smitten – no, obsessed by the mysterious and magical world of Harry Potter. It is an understatement to say that I have merely read all seven books. I have read them each at least three times, and once in Spanish. I have listened to both the Jim Dale and Stephen Fry audiobook versions at least twice, and geeked out by comparing and contrasting the narrator’s styles. (Okay, I said I was obsessed, right?). I have watched each film several (dozen) times, collected the Lego figurines, and even have a beautiful book of postage stamps, which will never, ever be pasted onto a piece of mail. HP postage stamps

And every summer, I stare out of my window, anxiously hoping that this will be the year in which an owl will arrive with my acceptance letter into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. (Or some adult-school version of it).

Creds to http://sammy4586.deviantart.com/

What’s that? Still not convinced that I am a true Potterhead? Okay, well, I was also a member of the Mugglenet community for years, tried my hand at fanfic (not successfully), and yes, I sewed my own Gryffindor quidditch robes and wore them to the July 2007 midnight release party of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Even cooler, I once had the privilege of having my quidditch robes autographed by Arthur A. Levine, the American editor for the Harry Potter books.

My homemade Gryffindor quidditch robes. (I know, I weighed a lot more back then. Shh…no teasing).

Okay, okay, enough of making you jealous. 😉 I’m sure that you’re convinced now that I am a genuine Harry Potter nut. I had such high aspirations for my three kids, too. I was sure that I could pass on to each of them my love of literature, and especially for J.K. Rowling’s amazing world of fantasy. Sadly, my two oldest children are rather indifferent to Harry Potter. Sigh. Muggles. But thank goodness, at least my youngest son has discovered the joy of magic. Smart kid. No wonder the Pottermore sorting hat placed him in the house of Ravenclaw.

Word Games and Wars (aka My Obsession With Scrabble)

I am in love with language. From the simplest colloquial phrases to the most complex, underused words in the dictionary, language fascinates me. Conversation is not enough to satisfy my thirst for words. I am also compelled to read, read, read. And when reading fails to satisfy, I turn to writing. But where do I turn when even writing is not enough to quell this burning, twisting, obsessive passion for words?

Scrabble.

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Yes, that’s right, Scrabble. Certainly, any word game will do in a pinch–Boggle, Bananagrams, etc. But there is something about playing online Scrabble, facing off against unseen opponents in the ultimate death match. We taunt each other with trash talk (Bring it on, baby!). For weapons, we hurl words like zanza, djin, and qi (yes, qi is an actual word, although I am pretty sure it is only used in the Scrabble world). We drop weapons like word hooks, or double letter scores, or even better–the triple word score (Booyah! Take that!). When you really wish to finish off your opponent, you can pull out the most powerful, destructive weapon of them all: The Bingo. Though it can be really difficult to create a word using all seven letters, and equally challenging to find a place to play it, the 50-point bonus score makes it totally worthwhile. It is the cyber-Scrabble equivalent of dropping an atomic bomb (BAM! How do you like me now, baby?).

Ooohh…all this talk about word games is giving me a crazy urge to head to the Scrabble arena and start battling. My favorite opponent has just taken his turn–Aliyos, for 23 points. But no worries, I can take him. Does anyone else dare to challenge me in a game of Scrabble? Just look me up on Origin — user name MochaCanela. But beware…I am very hard to beat. Study your dictionary first, and may the odds be ever in your favor. 😉

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