18 July 2011

Mischief Managed!

A huge piece of my childhood ended in the wee hours of Friday morning, when I finished watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in theaters.  I'm sad to see it end, but at least I feel that it ended right.  I don't care how cheesy it sounds; the Harry Potter series was a huge part of my life growing up and made a huge impact in many ways.  There are plenty of experiences that I can honestly say I wouldn't have had if it weren't for Harry Potter.

Like any truly obsessed Harry Potter fan, I wrote fanfiction.  I'll bite, here's the link.  My fanfiction-writing phase didn't last too long, but I got quite a bit written during my stint.  I was sort of pulled into this by my high school friends, who stuck it out way longer than I did.

Around the time I was 13 (so, beginning of high school-ish), I came across and subsequently joined d69.  If you were obsessed with Mugglenet.com as I was at that point, you might remember a bunch of people who posted comments with (d69) after their name.  I was one of them...not quite an original member, but I joined pretty early on.  Down the road, I ended up as a moderator of the d69 forums and then an editor of the d69 website.  This was still going strong up until around the time the Deathly Hallows book got released.  But I'm getting ahead of myself...

I also had a rather lovely Harry Potter theories website...well, actually three of them, for some reason- either I kept forgetting passwords, or usernames, or whatever.  This was truly where my Harry Potter obsession lay.  Theories, theories, theories!  (And using my oh-so-impressive HTML that I learned in freshman year of high school advanced computers ;-) )  I don't remember exactly when I stopped with the website (around the time of the release of book 6, I think), but it lasted long enough......

that when Amazon announced a contest to find the biggest Harry Potter fans to act as "kid correspondents" before the release of Half-Blood Prince, I made sure to enter!  And, I won!  This was really the 'opportunity' I was talking about.  I was not only interviewed for newspapers both locally and out-of-state, but I even was able to travel to New York City to visit Scholastic and be interviewed for NBC!  Even now, six years later, I think of this as one of the best things that happened to me- and all because of Harry Potter!  In my audition tape for the Amazon contest, I talked a lot about my work with d69 as well as my own theories website, and that's really what got focused on after I won the contest.  Everything tied together in the end... middle.

So, yes, I'm going to be a bit nostalgic now that the Harry Potter era is really coming to a close.  For me, it extended far beyond just some books and movies.  Through my websites, I met a huge range of awesome people.  Though we don't all stay in contact regularly anymore, every once in a while someone will pop by the d69 forums to just say hi...  And of course, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I had as a member of the Amazon Kid Correspondents panel is something I'll never forget.  (My Gryffindor robe that I've worn to the last few movie releases?  It was a gift from Scholastic after my interview.)  So while it's time now to say adieu to Harry, the one thing that will never leave is everything that this magnificent series has brought to my life.  Thanks.

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