My 6 Favorite Quotes from J.K. Rowling

I love much of how this woman thinks, so today I’m celebrating that.

Here are my 6 favorite quotes from Joanne ‘Jo’ Rowling (the K is for her grandmother’s name, Kathleen, if you’ve ever wondered)…

1. “I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

2. “I think writing about the time in Hermione’s life that I write about – growing from childhood into womanhood, literally, I think it brought back to me how very difficult it is. So much is expected of you as you become a woman, and often you are asked to sacrifice parts of you in becoming a girl, I would say. Hermione doesn’t.”

3. “There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.”

4. “Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have “essential” and “long overdue” meetings on those days. The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg.”

5. “I think that perhaps if I had had to slow down the ideas so that I could capture them on paper I might have stifled some of them.”

6. “I’ve no idea where ideas come from and I hope I never find out; it would spoil the excitement for me if it turned out I just have a funny little wrinkle on the surface of my brain which makes me think about invisible train platforms.”

Happy writing this week!

Why I’m Pretty Much Anti-Princess These Days

Image of PRINCESS SOPHIE OF BAVARIA by Josef Kriehuber

PRINCESS SOPHIE OF BAVARIA by Josef Kriehuber

I have been as entertained by princess and prince stories as anyone, but I am fundamentally at odds with these stories and wonder what the world might be like without so many of them.

What-if-ing is always a tricky game to play, because who’s to say what subtle benefits I’ve reaped from being raised in a princess culture? But trying to think of what some of those benefits might be this morning yielded…nothing.

I don’t like elitism.

I don’t like the ideas of falsely deriving self-esteem from preeminence or life conditions.

I don’t like extremist portrayals of the masculine or feminine.

It’s interesting that so many of our stories have kids (and adults) identify with characters that are a step above everyone else, in the name of escape.

I’m more tolerant of superhero and hero stories, though sometimes I tire of how many stories are about ‘chosen’ characters such as Harry Potter. This is still a step above princess and prince stories, though, because at least we’re talking about an ability or power of the individual.

Sometimes I still argue with myself that those super-abilities were usually given the character rather than earned, just like being born to royalty.

Disney and others have made strides in stories like Mulan, but the princess motif is still teeming. At a recent writer’s conference, I was bummed that nearly every female panelist had written primarily princess stories.

There’s of course not necessarily a lack of value in some of the more innovative princess stories, but did it have to be a princess story? It just gets old.

It seems to me some of our sense of disappointment with life can arise from an imbalance in this kind of dreaming and conditioning.

But at the end of the day, everyone should write what they want to write. I just hope more people who don’t want to write princess stories will find the time to write. 🙂