Archive for October, 2014

A Halloween Reply to My Friend Kara

Posted in Ramblings, Uncategorized on October 31, 2014 by tom
Kara: Like an Oreo, our beginning and our end is a sure thing. It’s all the crap in the middle that trips us up.
You got that right, Muggle. That’s where all the great and terrible things happen.
Most things that happen, though, are routine and mundane, safe, not dangerous.
Mr. Ollivander in the first Harry Potter novel was talking about Voldemort. “He has done some great things. Terrible, but great.”
I bet most days, Voldemort doesn’t do bad stuff
He probably wakes up, shaves whatever parts of his face grow hair, if any, takes a shower, and puts on his robes.
I bet he makes breakfast, or maybe has a minion-maid cook it for him, then reads The Daily Prophet, and probably the Daily Mail or The Guardian, just for muggle-based amusement.
Maybe he has a squash court in his mansion, and he has friend/minions over to play. Maybe he drinks a few beers after. Maybe there’s a Death Eater Country Club, and he’ll go play 18 holes before having a club sandwich and a Sapphire and soda for lunch.
Maybe Voldemort doesn’t fly everywhere. Maybe he has a Lamborghini Countach he runs up to 175 on the freeway home.
Maybe being evil is just a part-time thing for him, or a work-from-home business.
You can’t tell me the guy does evil stuff 24/7/365. I mean, even with horcruxes, you’d wear yourself out.
But all Harry Potter seems to do is scheme and plot against Voldemort. I’m not defending Voldemort, of course–the guy is evil, as we know. I just think he lives a normal life, puts in a few hours of work being evil, and kicks Lucius Malfoy’s ass in chess during the afternoons.
Voldemort is like the owner of Evil.
He delegates most tasks to his underlings, and saves the really big stuff for himself. I mean, he wasn’t at the big Death Eater rally at the Quidditch World Cup.
Granted, he was too weak at the time, but the job got done, and the non-Death Eaters were scared out of their wits.
Once he got his body back, he could’ve killed Harry Potter any time he wanted. Potter’s walking to Hogsmeade on a Saturday afternoon, Voldemort swoops in, and BLAM. Before you can say “EXPELLIARMUS,” Harry Potter is dead.
He wouldn’t have bothered with Ron Weasley, but Hermione–being a mudblood (pardon my vernacular)–would be toasted.
Then Voldemort could fly back to the Death Eaters Golf & Country Club in time for his eleven o’clock tee time
I think we’re not our true selves every minute of every day, no matter how much it seems like we are.
When I start National Novel Writing Month tomorrow, I’ll be somewhere other than where I usually would be–killing time..reading a book, or something else.
I don’t know who or what I really am, sometimes, but I know what’s real and what’s unreal in my soul.
I don’t always listen, of course, just like Voldemort should’ve smited Harry Potter long before their ultimate showdown–let’s face it; Harry Potter is an idiot without Hermione.
And what does Hermione think? “Oh, for the love of God! What’s WRONG with these idiots? Why am I dragging them through Hogwartts? Why can’t they do their own homework, and get O’s like I do??”
And why doesn’t she help Seamus Finnegan, and the other Gryffindors? Only Potter and Weasley.
What’s inside Hermione’s soul? Inside her heart?
She didn’t always like Ron Weasley. I don’t know when that started, but she was definitely a little hooked by Goblet of Fire, and positively homicidal by Half-Blood Prince.
How did she put up with Harry’s whining in Order of the Phoenix? How did anyone? Did it ever occur to anyone that Harry Potter–while being “The Boy Who Lived”–was a simpering twat?
The kid couldn’t do anything without people helping him. What if he’d failed in the end? He nearly did. He died, until Dumbledore sent him back.
All those people would have died for nothing. And if Voldemort ruled over all the wizarding world, why would anyone have to worry? They’d be fine, as long as they toed the line.
Germany was fine under Hitler until he started WW2 in 1938 (Unless you were Jewish, of course). Well, except for the SS & Gestapo occasionally screwing around with families, sort of like Death Eaters.
Hitler created jobs, got the economy moving, stamped out hunger, reinstated a sense of pride–he did great things.
But, like Ollivander said, “Terrible, but great.” That’s how he turned out.
It’s no secret that the Harry Potter books so closely resemble the Nazis rise to power.
And Mudbloods would be the equivalent of Jews in Hitler’s Germany. If you were even part-Jewish, you were looked down upon. It’s like in Potterland: if you were pure-blood magic, you were fine. If you were half-blood, you were suspect. If you were a mudblood, God help you, for you’d be persecuted by the Malfoys, Crabbes, and Goyles of the magic world. You could try to fight back, but they’d have you outnumbered, and you couldn’t stand a chance.
And thus, I have to write a novel in November. Writing starts on November first, which is 142 minutes from now. I spent my entire Friday creating an outline, chapter by chapter, fleshing out characters, doing all the prepwork, the equivalent of dicing the celery and mincing the onions before you cook stuff.
It will be about a high school girl who summons a vengeance demon, who just happens to be her next-door neighbor and BFF’s dad.
He wreaks vengeance on people who do her wrong, smites a kid, then she pushes things a little too far, and she gets the vengeance hammer herself.
I have it all sketched out. Now all I have to do is write 50,000 words in November, and I’ll be set.
If I apply myself, I can do it in way less time than that–or write more, if it needs it–but it’s still 1667 words a day for thirty days. For non-fiction (or long, rambling PM’s ) that’s nothing.
For writing original fiction, that’s a bit more daunting.
I’ve written a bunch of stuff centered around Casablanca on my blog, and that was fun to do. I could probably write 50,000 words about my Casablanca (which overlaps the film, of course) with relative ease.
Creating something new out of whole cloth…that will be scary.
But I’ll wake up, make a pot of coffee, pop a nicotine lozenge in my mouth, and sit down at my workspace (my b/w cover photo is my workspace), and at least stare at the big monitor.
Oh, I quit smoking. Ergo, the nicotine lozenge. A few of those a day, and I’m good.
And thus, I shall join millions of people all over the world, all trying to write a novel in November.
Each of us is different–different lives, jobs, different religions and customs, different souls–but for a few hours a day, we’ll all be doing the same thing.
Banging out words that probably nobody will ever read.
If you ever read this far, God bless you. I know you’re tired as hell, and sore, and probably drained from Hallowe’en.
I don’t know why I went off on a tangent like that. Oh. The Oreo analogy you made: We’re born, and we die. All the rest of the shit that happens is the cream smooshed in between.
That, and I was just wondering what Voldemort would’ve gone as for Halloween.
Love you, Muggle,
t
(PS: This is my 950th post in Dispatches from The Tom Zone. Thanks for reading, both the good ones and the crap. Just…thanks)
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