The Burning Scar in ‘Order of the Phoenix’

Sam, By the time J. K. Rowling finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, our hero and his friends’ accomplishments in Hogwarts (and out) were well known. Their adventures, for all their dangers and thrills, should impress and bewilder readers especially for children’s stories. I don’t see many books for young readers where the…

Designed to Move

Sam, “Humans are designed to move. Since emerging as a distinct species, humans moved (exercised) to secure food, escape from dangerous situations, attract mates, and do a variety of other activities that have allowed the species to thrive. [. . .] the organ systems involved in energy metabolism function best when subject to regular physical…

‘What makes Albus Dumbledore so Fond of You?’

Sam, Following the relative success of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (in my opinion), Crimes of Grindelwald was something of an enigma for me. Coming in to the theatre, the film’s ability to meet the level of its predecessor balanced on a knife’s edge. I thought I knew which way the weight would shift given my…

The Power of Belief: A History of Magic!

Sam, My visit to A History of Magic at the New York City Historical Society was more than I could have hoped for. I never expected to see everything that was listed in the book which accompanied the exhibit’s premier at the British Library, London. The whole exhibition is like an out-of-body experience. Because it exceeds…

The Power of Belief

Sam, In much of life and literature there are themes and lessons to be taken away from them, only a few overlap and are universal. Love, I think, being the most prevalent and powerful across genres. In fact, I wrote about love’s power in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows here. Though love, and its many forms–friendship,…

In Disguise

Sam, I’ve written before about what it means to live as a writer. I wish to return to this subject and speak about how easy it is to blend in to your surroundings as a scribe. I can sit at most any place at most any time and nobody would be the wiser of what…

The Hero’s Hero

Sam, In celebration of Hermione Jean Granger’s birthday, this year I’d like to recount some moments she progressed the plot or contributed to the reason of Harry and Ron survived their first year at Hogwarts. The time they went to meet Draco for their midnight duel in Philosopher’s Stone: “‘This is it!’ Ron moaned, as…

The Same Story You’ve Never Heard

Dear Sam (Somebody who Ain’t Me), The other day I heard a radio interview with Alan Gannett, author of The Creative Curve a novel dispelling the myths about creative geniuses being a unique breed or anointed by the gods. The interview, novel, and Gannett’s view of how to be successful in any field (for me that’s…

“Not Slytherin, not Slytherin”

            Sam, Just last week, readers in the UK (and outside it) celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In the spirit of Chamber leaving its teenage years behind, I’d like to examine a question that started in Philosopher’s Stone and was answered in Chamber. It deals…

A Brave Face

Sam, There’s a question that doesn’t seem to have a good answer among Potter fans. Despite our best efforts and much back and forth, we continue to ask how the hell was Peter Pettigrew a Gryffindor? For anyone who thinks the Hogwarts house traits are cut and dry, you may need to get a Pottermore account….