Author has written 3 stories for Harry Potter.
Current Status (September 12 2010)
I have just reposted chapter 1 of "Harry Potter and the Fourth School (HPATFS)", which wonders what should have happened when Harry was entered in the Tri-Wizard Tournament under the name of a different school. The repost adds a scene and extends two others, as some reviewers were mildly perplexed at a point I was admittedly being overly subtle about. Oops. :)) Thanks for the reviews.
I have concluded the story with a second short chapter / epilogue that is admittedly somewhat darker.
I've officially changed the status of "Killing Ron" to In-Progress, as some ideas on how to take it forward have been bubbling up. It seems likely to be extended into a sort of Fall of the House of Weasley (no relation to the Poe story). Thanks to those who have reviewed.
Beyond the epilogue to HPATFS, I'm not sure what is next. I've also had a request to continue The Wand Chooses the Wizard ... I'm not precisely sure how. One of my stranger ideas is about Harry turning out to not be the subject of the prophecy after all, despite being the BWL. So there are several other ideas kicking around. If I get around to it.
I've been loitering on the periphery of fandom for more decades than I care to admit ... for those in my neck of the woods, think V-Con 6. I'd never gotten around to writing anything, though, until recently.
My favorite authors include Heinlein, Bujold, Cherryh, Gibson, Stephensen and Zelazny.
My musical tastes are all over the map, from classical (Mozart, Rimsky-Korsakoff, Wagner), to Jazz and Fusion (Skywalk, Return to Forever, Cobham), to 2nd and 3rd Wave Ska (too many to list), rock/pop (Yes, Boston, Meatloaf, Supertramp, Pink Floyd), chick rock (Tracy Bonham, Belly, Liz Phair, Milla Jovovich, Sarah McLaughlin) ... even some Electronica and other modern stuff (Jarre, Moby, Orbital, 6 Underground, Bowie, Children of the CPU).
And comedy ... I have a true love of the absurd. I enjoy humour in most of its forms. Musical of course (Wierd Al, Bob Rivers, Bare Naked Ladies), spoken (George Carlin), visual (Monty Python, Austin Powers (the tent scene!), True Lies, Never Say Never Again, Black Adder I and II), and some of the better fanfiction I've read.
When I'm reading an epic, or writing, I'm ignoring my wife, 2 kids, and a few small furry animals.
Gripes about Harry Potter Fanfiction
I need to preface this with my appreciation to all the writers whose work I have criticized (constructively, I hope) - they all put in lots of effort, and I derive great enjoyment from reading the different interpretations of events and characters.
Nonetheless, improvements can be made.
The easiest gripe in the world is about spelling, diction, and the dreaded homonyms ... but others have covered that one very effectively on that so I won't bother. One profile even provides a list of homonym pairs with amusing examples of their misuse .. reminiscent of George Carlin pointing out a word that might not be acceptable on TV unless one were riding into town on a religious feast day. But I digress.
Here are some rants I haven't seen before.
Gripe 1: Secrecy
A character in a Heinlein novel said "Revolution is a science only few are competent to practice." Our hero and cast of merry creatures are in revolution on multiple fronts - against Moldyshorts; against Purebloods; against the Ministry; even against Fumbledoor.
And they can't keep a secret to save their lives.
Over and over again, they talk about important things in the hallways, or great hall, or common room (gee, that one sounds private!), in Headquarters whilst surrounded by portraits, or even in an ice cream shop. Never with a full check for privacy (eg a detection spell), and rarely with even a glance around to see if there is anyone visible.
What gives? Don't these people care at all about success? Or are they truly as stupid as they're written to be?
By contrast, here's Harry and Hermione written to be moderately intelligent:
“You’re looking better this morning,” Hermione whispered in Harry’s ear one Sunday in late April.
Harry nodded and whispered back, “When you see Luna, tell her to meet us in the usual classroom at Three.” To any observer, the pair had just been engaging in a little nuzzling in the common room before leaving for breakfast. Since Ron and Romilda were busy exchanging tongue probes, the twins were involved in a five-way tongue-fest with the chaser line, and Ginny and Seamus were somewhat out of sight imitating Ron and his girlfriend, no one paid any attention to Harry and Hermione.
"A Fist Full of Galleons" ch 15 by DrT (on another site)
Refreshing. Why don't more authors give our friends a little more credit?
Gripe 2: They are all ... children
I don't mean who you think. I mean the adults around our friends. Molly, Remus, Sirius, Tonks ... they are downright childish. They have childish trust in Fumbles. They have zero sense of decorum, and don't give anyone any sense of privacy.
The childish pranking. They are in a war. Do they need the distraction?
And they shout. All the time. Something surprises them, they shout. Even (especially?) in public if the surprise is about something that should be kept secret.
Tell me, the last time something surprised you, do you shout "What!" in a voice loud enough to be heard next door? I'm guessing not. Certainly I didn't. I can't remember ever having done so, or anyone around me having done so.
Here's an example that wasn't surprise so much, but was particularly memorable as inappropriate (from "Harry Potter and the Coming of Fate" ch 13 by Laeka):
"I'm happy that you're still thinking of me at least," Harry said flashing a genuine sheepish smile and wiping the tears from his eyes with the back of his hand.
"WELL OF COURSE I'M THINKING OF YOU!" Molly shouted ...
I don't get it. I can see her getting all teary eyed and wrapping him in an overbearing hug or something. Shouting? No.
The Slytherins are children too - the house of the sneaky and ambitious can't seem to be subtle - but they at least have the excuse that they actually are children.
Maybe Jo was writing for a juvenile audience, so created adults that were parodies of themselves. Fine. Does fanfiction have to do the same?
A Heinlein character once wondered how much the naysayers hold society back. I wonder how much the juvenile adults hold the war against Moldyshorts back .. they are all so frequently distracted by the pranks and interruptions and overreactions and Snape, it is a wonder they can complete any thought or task.
Gripe 2a: the childish pranking
I mentioned the pranking (above). It has perhaps one redeeming quality - that it helps develop a sense of paranoia. Moody should love it, and perhaps be the biggest pranker of the group. But he isn't. Why?
Because the pranking distracts everyone so thoroughly from what is important - their study, training, ability to think strategically. How can you successfully prosecute a war if you don't have the attention span to think ahead?
I have to give credit to an author who has figure this out. Landstradd's "The Sorting Hat's Last Stand" features a more serious Harry that gets it. After being invited to stay at Sirius' for the summer, he says:
"At the very least, I'll wait until I get my work for the holidays done. I can't see myself getting it finished without interruptions every five minutes in the house of a Marauder."
Then while at Sirius', and the prank war gets out of hand, he glues everyone to the ceiling to deliver this ultimatum:
"This has carried on far too long. It was fun to start with, but I had to go out yesterday in the last of the clothes I had that would let me go into the muggle world without breaking the statute of secrecy, in order to get more clothes. I had to willingly go shopping for clothing. I cannot read for more than fifteen minutes without something exploding somewhere in the building. And the training bludgers are still singing off color limericks. It has been a bloody fortnight since that one was pulled off. Enough is enough. I have proven that I can get all three of you at once. With ease. The prank war ends here and now, or the kid gloves come off."
Love it. Full kudos to Landstradd.