Created for Necessity, Employed for Passion

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"

Let's build a world. Explore what we believe by writing. In many ways my characters’ experiences with fate, destiny and free-will mirror my own. What is up to us and what isn’t? It’s one of the great questions of the human experience, I think. But no matter what is for us to control, we must own the identity. You’re a writer if you write. Period. Writing is a lovely way to spend one’s time. Enjoy it. And I hope you enjoy my writing here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Me and JK

Last night Leila Sales and I saw JK Rowling. This is one of the remarkable things about living in New York---  Ms. Rowling was doing ONE US appearance, and it was in my town. Getting tickets wasn't easy. It involved a lot of frantic online stalking, and two 1:00 am nights-- but we got them! We were two of the lucky few to see JK in all of her glory--- and she was glorious.

I know we all have our own versions of how Ms. Rowling has affected us. We picked up her books at a moment where we really needed a friend, we grew up with Harry. We were Hermione or we fell in love with Ron. We watched her rise to dizzying fame. We saw her do midnight readings from castles and we looked on, thinking that what she had done was truly (there is no other word for it)-- magical.

Here is my story:

I, like many people my age, came to Harry Potter when I was thirteen. I had just started high school and I was nervous, and scared. I was happier in fictional worlds than my real one, at that time, and Hogwarts never ceased to disappoint. Book one I read under my desk as a freshman. If I didn't have someone to talk to, that was okay, there was a whole world waiting in those pages.

Books two and three found me with someone to share them with! I was making my way through high school, and making friends. Book four I took with me to college. I set Harry down on my little shelf, sandwiched between “Wuthering Heights” and “Nine Stories.” I turned to him that first night my parents left, the first night I spent alone in my new dorm in my new city. Book five and I was making my way through USC, settling into a degree in creative writing. If my path hadn't always been clear (it had) it was now: I was going to be a writer.

Book six and I was leaving for Europe, graduating, packing my things, saying goodbye to friends and heading off for Edinburgh--- a city I had decided on because, you guessed it, JK calls it home. Every cafe I wrote in, I imagined her there--- I imagined her walking in. What I'd say to her if she did. What do you say to someone who has influenced your life (so, so many lives) the way she has? What do you say as an aspiring author, longing for some word of wisdom to let you know, eventually, it will all be okay? That it's worth it? 

Book seven and I was a newbie in New York. I was heartbroken, broke, twenty-two and lost. I remember leaving a bar of friends to go to Barnes and Noble at midnight on July 27th, 2007. I stayed up all weekend to read. I refused to let Harry go, and when I came to the end, saying goodbye was even harder than I had anticipated. 

But I didn't say goodbye. I went back to Edinburgh four times--- on each trip, waiting for her around a corner. Hunting down her haunts (you know, in a non-stalkery way), soaking up the Harry-ness of that city--- the place that inspired a world that inspired the world. I re-read Harry. I fell in love with Emma Watson and Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe. I shared the book with friends. 

On the night the final movie was released JK Rowling gave a speech--- do you remember this? She stood on the stage in Trafalgar Square, where they were premiering the film, and she told us (I'm getting choked up writing this) that "Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home." 

Last night, I met her. I said "thank you," and she said "thank you," back. I have spent fifteen years wanting that moment. Fifteen years wondering what I would say, if I ever met her. If I ever got the chance to be in the same room as the woman who had inspired so much. Two words ended up being all that was needed. 

Thank you, thank you. What else is there to say? 




  1. Yesterday was one of the most incredible days I've ever had. I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to come face to face with one of the authors who inspires me and who changed my life with the story she wrote.

    Also, I saw you guys from up top!

  2. This made me soooo teary eyed because I totally get it. I'm so glad you got a chance to say thank you! That is so special!! <3

  3. Awesome post Becca, so happy you were able to finally meet JK!