Early this year, in the bitter month of April, I played a horrible prank on the Potterheads of the world.
In my defense, I was given an assignment by my elephant journal mentors. I was to fabricate a story in recognition of April Fool’s Day. I struggled with what to write about; yoga seemed too easy, politics seemed too ‘blah’ and anything related to anyone famous seemed too cruel—I’m a Libra, the thought of spinning a lie about someone makes my stomach turn a bit. The thought of someone becoming privy to said-lie is enough to make me vomit.
So I struggled—think: writer’s block on steroids.
And then… in the early-morning hours of my deadline—when my brain and thoughts sang in soft, sweet unison for coffee—my muse arrived. And she whispered: Harry Potter
And there it was. The answer. The flash of inspiration I had been waiting (im)patiently for.
I sat down to my computer and let the words rapidly pour through my fingers, appearing, as if by magic, on my screen. In a little over 15 minutes, I wrote, edited and submitted this piece: J.K. Rowling to Release New Harry Potter Novel.
I was excited to have pulled a strong idea from the ether, but mostly relieved that I had met my deadline. I was finished with the article and could get on with my life.
As it turns out, Harry Potter is kind of popular. “Kind of” in the sense that people live, breathe and eat all things Harry Potter. I—being a literature student at the time—had zero minutes available for extracurricular reading and hadn’t read any of the novels. In fact, I’d only seen half of the first movie. Otherwise, it was just ‘that children’s series… the one with the magic.’
Shame on me, apparently.
To date, that article has had over 80,000 views. More horrific though, were the countless comments of heartbroken, annoyed and sometimes (extremely) angry readers. Here’s just a sampling, we’ll call it the highlight reel:
From the sad…
to the really sad…
to the… threatening?
to the blunt..
And (my personal favorite) the spiritual…
Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly popular when the news of my ‘joke’ had spread; and I have been thinking about this post ever since.
I’ve considered contacting J.K. Rowling (seriously) to surprise the world with a fulfilled April Fools Joke. As it turns out, she has publishers all over the world (so, just pick one.. any one) and only accepts physical mail; which, is awesome, but I needed her to be my BFF, to crank out a new novel and to undo all the damage I had done. I also needed this to happen.. like, now.
If you ever read this, I’d still like to be BFFs—even without formally saving my ass from the angry mob of Potterheads. We can sit places and drink coffee (or tea? I bet you like tea) and talk about words and people and grand ideas. You can meet my children and my cat, Gordon. But, we’ll spend a substantial part of the day walking through the woods; until dusk, when we’ll come home to my mister, who will have timed things perfectly (as he tends to do), so we walk over the threshold to find a piping-hot, home-cooked (vegan) meal waiting for our now-grumbling bellies.
Ahem… (sorry) moving on.
Today is a joyous day, however. Today I can issue my public apology to the owners of the dreams, hearts and souls I crushed this past April. I can stop existing with an alarming-degree of paranoia that anthrax or some explosive device will arrive via owl-post at any given moment.
Beloved readers of elephant journal and Fellow Potterheads,
It was cruel prank and I am sorry. Since publishing that piece, I have begun the series with my nearly-eight-year old son. We’re in the final chapters of The Half-Blood Prince and as the inevitable moment of finishing the series approaches, I can honestly say I get it.
I now know why saying goodbye to these characters is such an impossible task. I see why these books about magic have a different-sort of magic embedded in them. I understand why this series manifested as a community in the ‘real’ world that we’re stuck living in.
Harry Potter is one of the greatest gifts an author has ever given the world. Period.
And so, I am happy to present to you, J.K. Rowling’s big announcement:
(I’ll see you at Hogwarts)
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