Monday, December 19, 2005

Is This Flow? Bliss? An Altered State?

For several hours this morning I worked steadily, in an unhurried, calm manner that left me feeling as if I could work forever. No frustration over things not going the way I wanted them to. No wasting time on the Internet. It was incredible.

Unfortunately, I was baking, not writing.

December is often a bust for me professionally, unless I'm working under a deadline, in which case it's just miserable, period. This month I had two professional goals. I wanted to get a new manuscript out to my editor, and I wanted to send out two arcs with a press release and pictures. I sent out the manuscript and tomorrow I'm sending out a third and fourth arc. So I actually overshot my goal.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

I can't wait for the holidays to be over so I can be frustrated and miserable in front of my word processor again. I'd love to just write in my journal.

Another Pre-Potter Wizard School

Ursula LeGuin was interviewed for a Guardian article.

I always forget that LeGuin is a YA writer because I discovered her through The Left Hand of Darkness and Lathe of Heaven soon after those books were first published. However, she's written books for younger people, including A Wizard of Earthsea, in which a character is sent to a school for wizards.

Sound familiar?

In the Guardian article, LeGuin says of J. K. Rowling, "I didn't feel she ripped me off, as some people did...though she could have been more gracious about her predecessors. My incredulity was at the critics who found the first book wonderfully original. She has many virtues, but originality isn't one of them."


LeGuin isn't the only author whose work may be a "predecessor" to Rowling's. Jane Yolen also had a book published before the Potter stories in which a character goes off to wizard school. I haven't read either LeGuin's or Yolen's books, and I still found Harry Potter unoriginal. Kids going off to wizard or witch schools just seemed to be something I'd heard before.

The feeling was even stronger when I saw the movie version of the first book. I remember sitting in the theater and thinking, I've seen this before. Don't know where, don't know when.

As far as the critics who found the first books original are concerned, well, many of the people writing magazine articles on Rowling are not versed in kidlit or fantasy for any age group. If they don't know the field, then, yeah, they probably do find Potter original.

Thanks to Big A little a for the link.

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