October 20th, 2007


Happy Halloween, Day 20

Hello everyone! I'm back and typing up my detailed report from J.K. Rowling's amazing appearance last night at Carnegie Hall. I will post it here this afternoon.

Until then, on with the show...

Link of the Day: Kraft Foods Halloween Center (For frightfully wonderful recipes, menus, and helpful Halloween food tips! Coffin sandwiches, skeleton and brain dip, and more.)

Literature of the Day: Here is a particularly poignant reflection on a haunting.

"The Little Ghost"
By Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

I knew her for a little ghost
That in my garden walked;
The wall is high—higher than most—
And the green gate was locked.
And yet I did not think of that
Till after she was gone—
I knew her by the broad white hat,
All ruffled, she had on.
By the dear ruffles round her feet,
By her small hands that hung
In their lace mitts, austere and sweet,
Her gown's white folds among.
I watched to see if she would stay,
What she would do—and oh!
She looked as if she liked the way
I let my garden grow!
She bent above my favorite mint
With conscious garden grace,
She smiled and smiled—there was no hint
Of sadness in her face.
She held her gown on either side
To let her slippers show,
And up the walk she went with pride,
The way great ladies go.
And where the wall is built in new
And is of ivy bare
She paused—then opened and passed through
A gate that once was there.
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Eyewitness Report: J.K. Rowling at Carnegie Hall

Last night's appearance by J.K. Rowling at Carnegie Hall was simply amazing.

As some of you know, I was one of the winners of Scholastic's Open Book Tour Sweepstakes, so I attended last night's event. The guest I took is the person who gave me my first copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and made me promise to read it, my dear friend Professor Kathryn N. McDaniel of Marietta College. (She's the author of "The Elfin Mystique: Fantasy and Feminism in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series" in Past Watchful Dragons: Fantasy and Faith in the World of C.S. Lewis.)

It was an unforgettable night. I took detailed notes so I could share the event with those who are interested.

Ms. Rowling was introducted by Keith Olbermann of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, who made relevant points about how meaningful interaction between reader and writer can be (using his own childhood example of writing a fan letter to Roald Dahl after reading James and the Giant Peach and receiving a reply from Dahl), and how J.K. Rowling's works have inspired people to become readers, rereaders, and writers.

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After the Q&A, she signed copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. She made a point to meet each person's eyes and respond to everyone individually. I was impressed by her genuine happiness in meeting her readers. I was also pleased to have the chance to thank her personally for her books and her appearance.

And that, my friends, is my report!