Monday, July 23, 2007

HP, Painting and Me

I've vividly remembered why I usually hire somebody to paint the house and hang wallpaper -- the physical pain and the frustration.

I painted the ceiling in the room I'm redoing. It was not easy. Up the ladder, paint a bit, down the ladder, move the ladder, up the ladder, paint some more, down the ladder. To be sure, the paint that goes on pink then dries white is a wonderful thing. And the first coat looked lovely.

Until the Crack o' Doom revealed itself. Yep, as the wet paint dried, a crack appeared. A long one. So although I'd hoped to get away with one coat, I filled the crack, sanded the crack and this morning, repainted.

It's opened again. Not so bad, but still... Next time I'm moaning and groaning about writing? I'll remember this. My best hope now is that the dramatic color of the walls ("drumbeat red") will prove so distracting, nobody looks up.

This may also explain why I'm less than over the moon about the latest Harry Potter. I haven't finished it yet, and I will, but there's definitely something lacking, and one theme I really don't like.

I'm really missing the clever humor, like the school book titles in the earlier novels. This book, we get "Decoy Detonator." To be sure, that's exactly what it is -- but that's the problem. I would have thought J.K. Rowling could come up with something a little more clever. In fact, this book is downright grim. I get that's Much Is At Stake, and yet, much has been at stake in other books, and there were still some laffs. This time, I don't think I've cracked a smile once.

That's disappointing.

The other problem is a lack of tension. Okay, they're after Voldemort. High stakes. But there's a lot of planning and waiting and planning and waiting...and that's just not tremendously exciting.

Also, the whole Ministry of Magic going overboard doesn't appeal to me. It's too political. I'm not saying no kids' book should deal with politics (Watership Down does, I think, and I love that book.). The first books were, I believe, based more on the author's own emotional past (the loss of her mother, her bout of depression -- the basis of the Dementors) and I think that's why they were so appealing. The political stuff just doesn't have the same effect on me. At all.

I'm well aware that no author can please all of the people all of the time, and I'm not exactly the target audience here. It's just that I loved the first three books in this series and I've been feeling let down more and more with each book, but especially this one.

Or maybe it's just the paint fumes.

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