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J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Chair Sold At Auction

UPDATE: The Harry Potter Writing Chair Sold for $394,000!!!

JKChair

The chair where J.K. Rowling sat and wrote the first two Harry Potter novels is up for auction. This is the chair on which the author wrote Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone outside of the U.S.) as well as Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

If you are a big Harry Potter fan, or a novelist interested in channeling the famous author’s muse, you will need to take out a second mortgage on your home for this 1930’s era piece of furniture. The chair presented by Heritage Auctions, custom painted by J.K. Rowling herself, will start the bidding at $45,000.

These were the early novels which introduced us to the the now-iconic characters of Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Professor Snape, and, of course, He Who Must Not Be Named. Now, you may have an opportunity to sit upon Rowling’s literary throne and dream up your own Wizarding World.

It’s always nice to dream!

 

Dead Giveaway (WIP-5)

Previously: Dead Giveaway (WIP-4)

…After a brief pause, Henry said, “Miles, can I ask you a personal question.”

“Most certainly Henry, ask away.” Miles said without hesitation.

“Do you remember when you died?”

 

Miles stared at Henry for a long minute. With a slight nod he began.

“Father was an educated man, but he wanted to set up his own homestead. After John Eliot built an Indian missionary church right near here by the river,” Miles said pointing west towards the Merrimack River, “father decided it was safe enough to bring us out to the frontier and build a farm.”

Miles sat in the chair near the window.

“We had a hundred acres that spanned from up here right down to the river. It was a fair bit up from the Namoskeag falls, but there was still plenty of fish. We moved here when I was 12, and we worked the land. We had good relations with the Penacook, and traded with them. Some of them would sup with us from time to time. Everything was good for a spell.”

Miles stared out the window. He had a far away look, like he was somewhere else.

“We started hearing stories from fur traders and some of the Penacook about attacks down in southern parts of Massachusetts. An Indian named Metacom started an insurrection. At first we were not worried as the attacks were far away. One day a trader told us the entire town of Deerfield had been burnt to the ground. Many were dead and others were taken prisoner. As the attacks increased and spread out, we received news less frequently. We did not know much of what was happening outside our settlement, but the feeling was that it was getting worse.”

Miles hands were clenched into fists, and he folded his arms across his body. His right leg bobbed up and down rapidly. When he looked up, Henry could see real fear in Miles’s eyes.

“It was early one morning during the harvest. The light was just coming up, and father, Joseph, Edward and I were getting ready to go to work in the fields. Father and Edward were already outside, when I heard a commotion and yelling. Then came shots. Father ran into the house shouting, ‘Indians, grab the guns.’ Mother was shouting. ‘Where’s Edward!’ but father didn’t answer. He grasped his musket and handed me another. We could hear whooping and hollering getting closer. It was all happening so fast.

I rushed outside ahead of father and Joseph. A figure was moving at speed in my direction. I just pointed and fired. I couldn’t see if I hit him through the smoke. There was yelling and gunfire all over. I began reloading in earnest when something pounded into my chest and caused me to fall flat on my back. I couldn’t catch my breath. I could hear my brother yell, then scream. Then I heard my sister Elizabeth screaming nearby. I tried getting up but could barely raise my head. Suddenly an Indian, an Abenaki I think, stood over me sneering. He carried a stone club. Looking into his cold, black eyes, I could see no mercy there, no compassion. He swung his arm and all went black.”

Henry stared as Miles looked back out the window, hugging himself and rocking back and forth.

“When I awoke, I at first did not recognize where I was. It was very overcast, the clouds were heavy with rain. I stood before a smoldering ruin. It was some minutes before I realized it was all that remained of our home. In front of the house lay my mother in the grass face down. She was bloodied and still. My father had been stripped of his clothes and his chest and belly had been split open. I could see the bodies of my brothers near the now empty animal pens and smoldering barn. My sisters Elizabeth and Grace were nowhere to be seen. I looked back at the woods from whence the Indians came. The forest was now silent and dark.”

Miles looked back at Henry again, his eyes large and dark. There would be tears if he could cry. His leg stopped moving, and he unfolded his arms and they lay limp at his sides.

“Another body lay at my feet. It was a stranger. He lay on his back, his arms and legs splayed out. I could not recognize who he had been as his face and head had been knockt bloody. His feet were bare. His shoes and stockings had been taken. His once white shirt was soaked in blood, and he wore brown trousers just like mine. He also had a scar on his lower right leg just like mine, which I received after a mishap with an axe when I was younger.” Miles whispered resting his chin on his chest, and lifting his hands to his face examining them.

“My thought was the stranger had come to help us, but had died in the process. I wandered about the area calling for help. None came. Another day passed, or two I think, when a group of Christian Penacook Indians arrived. I knew some of them. One was named Daniel. I tried speaking to him, but he ignored me as if I were not there. The Indians gathered up my parents, my brothers, and the stranger and buried them together not far from where the house had been. They laid rocks upon the grave to keep animals from digging them up. A crude wooden cross was fashioned, and a prayer was said. Then they left.”

“That stranger was you wasn’t it Miles?” Henry said.

Miles just nodded, still looking down. “My family now lies in the back corner of your yard, beneath the fence and your shed.” Miles finished, and lifted his head to look directly at Henry.

His mouth agape, Henry said, “You and your family are buried in our back yard?…”

It ain’t: Wreck havoc

Most Americans consider our official national language to be English, and have the strong opinion that people immigrating to the United States should learn to speak our language. However, many of these same American’s don’t know how to speak their own language correctly!

Point in case: Wreck havoc, or wrecking havoc  WRONG!!!

People saying this should be slapped across the face with a cold wet fish.

To wreck something it to cause destruction, and havoc is also destruction and devastation. So you mean you want to destroy devastation? It isn’t wreck havoc – it’s wreak (pronounced reek) havoc – means to inflict destruction or punishment

The right way to say it: Wreak havoc  CORRECT!!!

If you want to be a true American, don’t go around sounding like a foreigner. Speak your official national language correctly!

 

Harry Potter author JK Rowling shares rejection letters from publishers

JKR

JK Rowling has published rejection letters where publishing bosses suggest she go on a writing course and pop into a ‘helpful book shop‘ for a novelist’s guide.

The best-selling author was pitching her first novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, under her Robert Galbraith pseudonym when she got the replies from Constable and Robinson and Creme de la Creme publishers.

The Cuckoo’s Calling, a post-war detective novel, went on to be a number one bestseller, and in order to inspire other writers the Harry Potter author has posted the letters on Twitter.

reject

Read the rest at the Daily Mail

This is priceless. Once again this shows that when it comes to the arts there are a lot of so-called “experts” who have more ego than talent.

I once saw a program where a couple of Kindergarten-aged girls were given paints and canvas and told to paint whatever they wanted. They had fun, and made messy, splotchy works of art. They were displayed in a nice gallery, but there was no note of who the artist(s) were. A lot of art “experts” commented on how good, and exquisite the works were, and talked about the technique and what the artist was so obviously conveying. When they were told it was painted by a couple of 5 year-olds in a classroom as an art experiment, some of the art critics melted away, others were clearly upset on being fooled, but one of them was pretty clever. He said, “If they’re not notable, they ought to be. They have a latent talent for the medium.”

The age old adage of “Art is in the eye of the beholder,” is clearly one of the truest statements there are.

It ain’t: Verbage 

Most Americans consider our official national language to be English, and have the strong opinion that people immigrating to the United States should learn to speak our language. However, many of these same American’s don’t know how to speak their own language correctly!

Point in case: Verbage  WRONG!!!

Verbage rhymes with garbage – because that is not how you say the word. I hear this word mispronounced in corporate offices all over, during meetings, and on conference calls with regular frequency. It makes me cringe, and my eyes roll involuntarily every single time.

eyeroll

The word is Verbiage – there is an “I” in the word. Use it. Pronounce it as Verbi-age or Verby-age if you like. It’s similar sounding (not spelled) to the word Lineage – and you don’t say Linage…do you?

If you are going to use this word, meaning a manner or style of expressing something in words – then say it the right way.

The right way to say it: Verbiage  CORRECT!!!

If you want to be a true American, don’t go around sounding like a foreigner. Speak your official national language correctly.

 

Abridged Classics for Lazy Readers

abridged-classics-books1

It ain’t: It’s a mute point 

Most Americans consider our official national language to be English, and have the strong opinion that people immigrating to the United States should learn to speak our language. However, many of these same Americans don’t know how to speak their own language correctly!

Point in case: It’s a mute point  WRONG!!!

Aghhh! When people say this, it makes me want to throw a Three Stooges, Curly Howard-style fit.

curly

The point of discussion isn’t mute – it isn’t quiet, muffled or incapable of speech. It’s a moot point – meaning the point of discussion no longer matters, or has no practical meaning or value.

The right way to say it: It’s a moot point  CORRECT!!!

If you want to be a true American – learn to speak your official national language correctly!

 

Amazon’s Book Store – A Winner?

amazonbooks

With Barnes & Noble showing decreasing book sales and closing more book stores, Amazon’s pilot book store is showing promise that print is not dead.

Amazon has almost perfected a shopping experience for browsers — and I mean human, not web.

Four months after the first Amazon Books physical store opened in Seattle’s University Village, Amazon appears to be satisfied enough with the results to move forward with a second location in San Diego. But is the original just a novelty, attracting only nerdy tourists? Or does it work as a retail store for people who truly want to browse and buy?

What are they doing that’s working?

  • Encourages browsing and serendipity
  • Removes “better deal” fears
  • Provides physical comparisons of Amazon-brand products
  • Leverages the e-commerce experience

Read the whole story at GeekWire

Dead Giveaway (WIP-4)

Previously: Dead Giveaway (WIP-3)

Henry headed up the stairs to his room to think about doing homework, but intending to read or play a video game. On the landing he turned down the hall to his bedroom, but his way was blocked by a shadowy figure.

“Hey you little booger, were you in my room touching my stuff again?” His fourteen-year-old sister Tessa said. Better known as ‘Tessa the Terrible’.

“No, I haven’t.” Henry said.

“That’s bull, things in my room’s been moved, which means you were in there going through my stuff. You tried taking my game controller didn’t you? It wasn’t where I left it yesterday.” Tessa said.

“How could I? I just got home. Maybe Dad was looking for something, or maybe it was Mom, she was just home for a bit.” Henry said.

“Dad, never goes in my room, and Mom…”She trailed off, then her face went white. She stood over Henry. “If I find out you were in my room,” she said jabbing a finger in Henry’s chest with each word, “I’m gonna kick your ass.” and shoved him against the wall as she went back to her room at a run.

“Seems to be the theme today,” Henry mumbled to himself as he entered his room. He dropped his backpack on his bed and went to the desk facing the window. He turned on his Kindle Fire, and tapped the screen to open up the latest ebook in The Apocalypse Weird series.

In no time the story pulled his attention and imagination into to the latest adventure. The ‘Theater of the Mind’ began playing its mind movie…

“Why do you let your sister treat you in such a manner?” Came a voice from behind him in the quiet of his room.

Henry jumped, bobbling his Kindle before dropping it onto the desk. “Dammit Miles, do you always have to do that?” He said spinning around in his chair. “You scared the heck out of me.”

“You will have to excuse me, it’s not like I can knock on the door now can I?” Miles said with a smile.

“No I guess you can’t.” Henry said.

“But I can muster the energy to move some of Tessa’s things about.” Miles said, a wide grin across his pale face.

“It was you?” Henry said,  with a tone of astonishment. “How?…why?…you just need to stop doing that. I’m the one who get’s in trouble for it. She’s just going to blame me.”

“Very well, very well, I’ll not do it again.” Miles said giggling. “But it is amusing to see her bewilderment.”

“I’ll bet,” Henry said, himself now laughing, and then he stopped. “Wait, what other times are you in my sister’s room looking at her?”

Miles was still giggling, then it became a smile, and then the smile disappeared. His jaw dropped open and eyes widened when it dawned on him what Henry meant by the question. “Henry, I take exception, I would never look in on your sister when she is indecent. I am no scoundrel. What sort of man do you think I am?”

“Oh don’t sound so annoyed I was just asking; besides you’re not a man you’re a boy like me, a little older maybe but still a boy.” Henry said.

“I’m quite a bit older than you when you think about it.” Miles said. “That reminds me, have you spoken with your father yet, about the history of this house?”

“No, not yet. He’s busy doing research for his book. He doesn’t like to be distracted from what he’s working on. If I ask him it’ll just interrupt the work on his book. First he’ll look into the history of this house, then he’ll to look into the history of the neighborhood, and then the entire city.” Henry said.

“Good, then he will learn the truth about the earliest settlers up here, and find out what really happened to them.” Miles said.

After a brief pause, Henry said, “Miles, can I ask you a personal question.”

“Most certainly Henry, ask away.” Miles said without hesitation.

“Do you remember when you died?”

 

 

A State of Passion

passion

Last fall I lost all interest in writing creatively. I had no passion left for it. I kept wondering when or how the passion would return. I wondered and thought about that for months.

Finally, I found an answer.

I’ve been going back –rea-reading and listening to CD’s that sparked new ideas, inspired me and provided motivation.

I wasn’t disappointed.

Passion isn’t something that just happens. It’s not something that you wait to come to you. Passion is a state of mind. You can manifest and control passion by the way you think about things; by your physiology in how you gesture and hold your body; the speed and tonality at which you speak, and the energy you exude.

When you are passionate about something you sit or stand up straight, your head is up, and shoulders square. Your voice is strong, and you speak in a fast and excited manner. You have a smile on your face, you are confident when you speak. You gesture with your hands and your body language is energetic. You talk about the subject of your passion in a positive manner, and you are all about potentiality.

Passion doesn’t just happen to you, you happen to it. You create passion for whatever you want to be passionate about just by changing your state.

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