C. A. Casey

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Archive for October, 2007

Harry Potter and Halfway Decent Book

Posted by Casey on October 31, 2007


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is 657 pages. That alone makes it better than Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

I don’t agree with this visual review of the Half-Blood Prince:


Harry Potter regains his pre-Book 5 personality, which is a good thing. Ron and Hermione are the ones going through growing pains in this one, but that’s okay because the reader knows where all that’s leading to.

Half-Blood Prince is the beginning of the long, sometimes tedious denouement for the series. Dumbledore prepares Harry in a rather haphazard and inadequate way for his ultimate confrontation with Voldemort. The interesting thing about this book is Rowling’s about face attitude toward adults as helpers for Harry. Dumbledore suddenly is not the wizard who can get everyone out of impossible fixes and concoct cover-ups better than major government officials.


Dumbledore’s mentoring causes more confusion than clarity, leaving Harry woefully unprepared to deal with pretty much everything that happens in Book 7. Snape is the one who steps in and takes matters into his own hands, but on the surface, his actions appear to be the opposite of saving the day. I’m not going to give away key events, in case others want to read these books. I’ll just say, Snape continues to be the most interesting character in these books.

This is a better paced book than Books 4 or 5, which means it doesn’t drag all the way through. Rowling still hasn’t learned the useful fiction device–narrative summary–to reduce the number of redundant scenes that don’t contribute to the story but denotes the passage of time. At least the redundancy doesn’t get as out of hand as it does in Book 7.


This book ends with Harry ready to do what he can to save the wizarding world by destroying Voldemort once and for all. So on to the seventh and last book in the Harry Potter saga.


Posted in Literature | 2 Comments »

Harry Potter and the Train Wreck in Slow Motion

Posted by Casey on October 30, 2007


With great relief, I finished Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. I like thick fantasy epics as much as the next person but content must be up to the task of filling, say 870 pages. Unfortunately, the 870 pages that contain the Order of Phoenix only provides more space for the already pedantic pace set in the previous Potter books to ooze into something slow enough to imitate a Stupefy spell.

Reading this book is like listening to a Presto by Haydn played at a Largo tempo. It plods on and on and on with only brief spurts of get up and go.

Having said that, Phoenix has some of the most entertaining plot and character elements of the series so far. The adaptation to film focused on these elements, making the film much better than the book. In all honestly, 350 to 400 pages could be trimmed away and not only help the pace, but turn it into a pretty good book–except for a minor point that I’ll discuss a little later. Even Rowling said, “There are minor plot things that I– I would change going back. I’d certainly– edit Phoenix a bit better because it’s– I think it’s too long.”

But you know what? There’s a section where the pace actually works, really works for the first time in the first five books. For the first time, Rowling seems to be enjoying what she’s writing. For the first time the story leaps off the page.

It’s odd to say, but her writing has a remote feel, which is interesting because the story (except for introductory scenes at the beginning of most of the volumes and a few minor POV slips) is from Harry’s POV. Perhaps that’s the reason I haven’t been able to muster enough empathy with Harry to really care. And, as I’ve been known to say, novels are about characters, not setting or story. After five books, I haven’t become a Harry Potter convert because I haven’t found a reason to like Harry Potter beyond him being a boy with an interesting problem to overcome.


The section where I feel Rowling demonstrates she can indeed write in an entertaining, engaging way is when the Weasley twins begin their campaign to get expelled from Hogwarts. Suddenly, we have action and pace in glorious harmony. The section where they set off the fireworks was good writing–all the way through to when all the fireworks burn themselves out.

Unfortunately, Harry does not endear himself to the reader or to anyone who comes within shouting distance of him for that matter. He spends the entire 870 pages pissed off at everyone. A fifteen-year-old yelling and pouting and storming about and fuming in anger does not make for fun reading.

The worse thing a writer can do is change a character’s personality so much that it’s not the same character. In this case, Harry Potter has been replaced by a bad actor, who makes up for lack of skill with over-the-top dramatics. I just wanted to fling a stupefy spell at him and tell him to get over himself and grow up. A more experienced writer would have been able to maintain the personality of the Harry in the first four books as he deals with the extremes of going through too many major physical, emotional, and mental changes in this book.


This is another example of Rowling not having a complete understanding of how to maintain a compelling fictional dream. She often plays fast and loose with what should be the constants in her world (such as the magic and, in this case, characterization) so certain plot points will happen.

Which brings us to the two major problems with this book . . .

The first is where the main characters suddenly turn stupid so certain events can unfold.

Page 745:

Snape gave her an ironic bow and turned to leave. Harry knew his last chance of letting the Order know what was going on was walking out the door.


“He’s got Padfoot!” he shouted. “He’s got Padfoot at the place where it’s hidden!”


Snape had stopped with his hand on Umbridge’s door handle.


“Padfoot?” cried Professor Umbridge, looking eagerly from Harry to Snape. “What is Padfoot? Where what is hidden? What does he mean, Snape?”


Snape looked around at Harry. His face was inscrutable. Harry could not tell whether he had understood or not, but he did not dare speak more plainly in front of Umbridge.


“I have no idea, ” said Snape coldly. “Potter, when I want nonsense shouted at me I shall give you a Babbling Beverage . . .”

At this point, as a reader, I said, “Bravo.” Snape’s a good wild card to pull at this point in the unfolding drama. But, just as Harry and Hermione are suddenly too stupid to figure out the contradiction of the rules related to the Time-Turner, they don’t seem to remember Harry gave Snape the above information so Snape can find out what’s going on with Sirius. They seem to have forgotten about Snape completely after they leave the centaurs to deal with Umbridge.

The whole scene of Harry and his posse going to the Ministry of Magic and getting caught up in endless pointless actions that go on and on, only to be saved, again, by grownups is just a mess. It reads like an action movie that tries to overwhelm the audience with too many special effects to take its mind off the fact that nothing is happening plot-wise.


This mess is a good indication the story strayed away from the logical narrative line, especially when too many things have to be explained at the end, like on page 830:

“Kreacher told me last night,” said Dumbledore. “You see, when you gave Professor Snape that cryptic warning, he realized that you had had a vision of Sirius trapped in the bowels of the Department of Mysteries. He, like you, attempted to contact Sirius at once. I should explain that members of the Order of Phoenix have more reliable methods of communicating than the fire in Dolores Umbridge’s office. Professor Snape found that Sirius was alive and safe at Grimmauld Place.


“When, however, you did not return from your trip into the forest with Dolores Umbridge, Professor Snape grew worried that you still believed Sirius to be captive of Lord Voldemort’s. He alerted the Order members at once.”

The grownups–the Order members–come and save the day because Potter and his friends have been all but defeated by the Death Eaters at that point.

The question is, why didn’t Hermione, who’s always on top of things, ask, when they’re mounting broomsticks and thestrals for London, “Shouldn’t we see if Snape’s found out anything?” The fact that she nor Harry nor Ron even ask the question is out of character for all of them. Another example of where Rowling sacrifices one of the most important constants in fiction–characterization–for plot points. Even if they still go to London after debating whether they should check with Snape would, at least, restore some credibility to the direction the story takes.


The second problem is the grownups come in to save the day. It’s almost as if Rowling couldn’t figure out how to get the kids out of the Department of Mysteries after being chased around far too long by the Death Eaters without two of the major plot points not happening yet. It reads exactly like what it is. A plot cop-out. At this point in the series, it’s almost irresponsible because Harry has more than demonstrated that he can handle the bad guys–all it takes is a little more imagination from Harry’s creator, who opted, once again, to take the easy way out.

Bellatrix raised her wand. “Crucio!


Neville screamed, his legs drawn up to his chest so that the Death Eater holding him was momentarily holding him off the ground. The Death Eater dropped him and he fell to the floor, twitching and screaming in agony.


“That was just a taster!” said Bellatrix, raising her wand so that Neville’s screams stopped and he lay sobbing at her feet. She turned and gazed up at Harry. “Now, Potter, either give us the prophecy, or watch you little friend die the hard way!”


Harry did not have to think; there was no choice. The prophecy was hot with the heat from his clutching hand as he held it out. Malfoy jumped forward to take it.


Then, high above them, two more doors burst open and five more people sprinted into the room: Sirius, Lupin, Moody, Tonks, and Kingley.

I don’t doubt Rowling would like to take another stab at getting this book right, especially from page 745 on. All the elements for the dramatic climax are there, they just need to be pulled into focused and arranged in a logical credible sequence and have Harry more in control of the situation when the grownups arrive as re-enforcements, not saviors.


This could have been the best book so far. It has a lot of good things in it. The formation of Dumbledore’s Army, the Weasley twins’ anarchic rampage, and the concept for the Department of Magic makes the book fun. But, unfortunately, it’s the worse book of the first five.

I confess I’ve read Book 6 and 7. I decided not to stop after 5 and plowed through to the end, just finishing 7 today. So I’ll be blogging about the last two books this week, and then I can put this exercise in reluctant reading far behind me.


Posted in Literature | 1 Comment »

Putting the Curl in Curling

Posted by Casey on October 27, 2007


Well, I played my second game of curling last night and my team won. Yeah. We actually didn’t do bad once I got the hang of throwing the first two stones lighter than heavier. Skill in knowing how much muscle to put behind the stone and releasing it so it curls properly is only half the equation. The other half is the ever changing condition of the ice.

The ice can be fast or slow and it can have rough or slick patches that will alter the course of the stone. The condition of the ice changes as stone after stone rolls over it and as slick paths are created by the sweepers and the players who glide on the Teflon soles. Also last night, the door to the ice was left open for a while. That warmed the rink down and, while it was more comfortable temperature wise, the ice got slicker and slicker and nearly every stone was too heavy–rolling all the way through the house. After someone closed the door, the ice hardened, changing the playing conditions again.

I’m getting better at keeping up with the faster stones while sweeping. Sweeping is a lot harder than it looks. First off you’re running kind of sideways on the ice, watching the stone, watching and listening to the Skip for instructions, watching for other sweepers in the neighboring lane, watching for guard stones in your path . . . it really gets fun when you have to do all this while you’re sweeping the ice in front of the stone.


Now that I’m getting the hang of doing the basic things, I’m paying more attention to the strategy of the game. Being the Lead, I throw the first two stones that are hopefully guards or draws and I sweep for the other players. A game lasts two to two-and-a-half hours and has ten ends. That means I throw twenty stones and sweep sixty. No wonder my back feels it in the morning.

Part way through last night, I realized I was really enjoying myself. It was a turning point in my mind from beginner to actual contributing member of the team. Two weeks ago we were two beginners, a player with experience, and a player who’s been curling all his life. This week we were gelling as a team, concentrating more on strategy than on figuring out what we were doing.

The best thing, I haven’t fallen yet, and I’m wearing regular shoes.

Posted in Stuff | 2 Comments »

Winging It at Wild Wings

Posted by Casey on October 22, 2007

I was at Wild Wings Golf Course Saturday, outside Woodland, California, photographing the last regular season tournament for the Northern California division of the National Golf League.

We mostly hung around at the ninth hole, listening to the ’80s rock ‘n roll and talking to Kim, the DJ for the event. Kim was telling us how she had to cover a high school football game the night before in the pouring rain. Makes me thankful basketball is an indoor sport.

golf-oct5.jpg Kim and BJ doing their interview thing

It was windy but a beautiful sunny day and Wild Wings Country Club is a nice setting, wrapped around a community of homes outside of Woodland. I can think of worse ways to hang out on a Saturday.

I met Michael and Brenda–part owners of the Sacramento Sirens–and had an entertaining chat with them. I love their enthusiasm for women’s sports.

Every once in a while teams of golfers showed up to tee off the ninth.


Posted in Stuff | 1 Comment »

. . . Or No Deal

Posted by Casey on October 18, 2007

BJ has chronicled the Deal or No Deal watching party the Sirens and the Sac City Rollers held last night.

“Kimberly’s Deal” on Deal or No Deal



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Posted by Casey on October 18, 2007

Kimberly Bradshaw, a Sacramento Siren and a Sac City Roller was on Deal or No Deal tonight. She’s no. 91 in the photo taken at the Team Golf tournament a few weeks ago.


At the beginning of the show, they showed clips of her playing football with the Sirens. Great free publicity for the league. Then in the middle of the show half the Sirens (in their jerseys) and members of the Sac City Rollers team (on roller skates) come into an area behind the stage to root their teammate on.

It was fun seeing the Sirens having a good time shouting encouragements and chanting.

Kimberly’s son (the kid in the above photo) wanted her to take the deals. Smart kid. Kimberly took one too many chances and ended up with only $23,000.

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Scammers, Plagiarism and Witchcraft, Oh My

Posted by Casey on October 17, 2007

What happens when a blogger exposes a really stupid case of plagiarism? Well, a major drama filled with ever changing excuses, threats of lawsuits, and witchy curses. Not to mention a lot of entertaining comments from the literary peanut gallery.

My favorite part of this whole thing is when the scamming agent wants to sue the blogger, Jane (a lawyer), for exposing the plagiarism.

Jane emailed the agent with: “I don’t understand why you are emailing me. If you have a lawsuit, have your attorney contact me.”

To which the agent replied: “Don’t worry, when the papers are ready, you will hear from him, trust me. We had no clue this person [the author of the work that was ripped off] or his books existed until last week when YOU posted it. I asked you not to and YOU did, now we have this huge explosion going on and it started with YOU.”

In other words, she wants to sue Jane for publicly spilling the beans that the Prologue of the book Of Atlantis is actually the opening pages of Dark Prince by David Gemmell.

Her myopic stupidity leaves me speechless.

It all starts here . . .

Top 10 Tips for Plagiarists

continues to here . . .

Victoria Strauss — Christopher Hill Redux

and is discussed in greater detail here . . .

Weirdly Similar…

and more as the comments spill into October 17th . . .

How to Fling About Legal Insults Like a Lawyer, Part 1 of Many Parts


Posted in Literature | 3 Comments »

Harry Potter and the Hugo Award

Posted by Casey on October 13, 2007


Okay. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I began my previous blogs about the Harry Potter books with every intention to be civil and positive and ended up trashing the books anyway. Well, I’ll just start with the trashing, because I can’t think of many positive things to say about this book.

First off, I just want to say, I’m glad I finally read the Harry Potter book that won a Hugo Award. I couldn’t believe a Harry Potter book was good enough to be nominated, much less win the major award in science fiction and fantasy, bestowed by the World Science Fiction Society. All I can say, if I had a book nominated that year, I would not have been happy losing to a rather mediocre fantasy for children that had no business vying for a Hugo in the first place.

I hated the film version of this book. The book was a little better than the film–I wasn’t compelled to throw it against the wall. I was compelled to put it down about halfway through when the story came to a grinding halt and lumbered much too long through a series of boring pointless scenes. I kept going but the pace never really picked up to the end of the book.

The pacing problem is only partly Rowling’s fault, I think. Consumer and corporate pressure on both Rowling and her editors to finish these books resulted in poorly paced, bloated novels.

The final confrontations of Harry against evil remain the weakest parts of these books. They’re too leisurely paced and there’s only so much one can do while waving a wand and shouting weird Latin phrases. The ending of this book is unfocused and lazy in execution. But those are ever present traits of Rowling’s writing style. The lack of focus and laziness is just more apparent in the dramatic climaxes because these are the sections where the writing has to be sharp and to the point and . . . logical.

Okay, the readers of the first edition caught the little problem of the ghosts coming from Voldemort’s wand in the wrong order and it’s been corrected in later editions. I read the first edition and was pulled out the story to re-read the section and wonder why Rowling messed up the logic of a simple spell just so Potter’s mother could be the last to emerge from the wand. That was the only reason I could think of to put the ghosts out of order.

Then later in the book, we learn that the ghosts were to appear in the reverse order they died, which means Rowling didn’t consciously mess up the order, it means the copy editor fell down on the job. Just as the copy editor didn’t catch all the times H, H, & R didn’t use Snuffles instead of Sirius. Why even have Sirius make the request for them to use Snuffles when talking about him, when they do it once at the beginning of the conversation and then use Sirius after that? Again, I blame a lot of this on the pressure to get the book out to impatient readers.

One piece of information came from this book that I thought should have been, at least, hinted at in the Chamber of Secrets. The feathers in both Harry Potter’s and Voldemort’s wands are from Dumbledore’s phoenix.

Next, Book 5. All 870 pages of it.

Posted in Literature | 2 Comments »

I Love It

Posted by Casey on October 13, 2007

87-year-old Doris Lessing won the Nobel Prize for Literature. So what kind of reaction would we expect from a woman who turned down a damehood? Whose work encompasses communist, psychological, and feminist themes? And short stories about cats.

She does not disappoint . . .

Posted in Literature | 1 Comment »

More Clever Book Marketing

Posted by Casey on October 13, 2007

I still am not interested in glancing through, much less buying this book, but I give props for clever marketing:

Save Oprah’s Book Club

Oh, and I saw this book in Target today in an end of an aisle display next to . . . the latest Harry Potter book. I think that’s all that needs to be said about this book.

Posted in Literature | 1 Comment »

Look Ma, I’m Curling

Posted by Casey on October 13, 2007


Posted in Stuff | 2 Comments »

Saturday’s Little Adventure

Posted by Casey on October 10, 2007

Saturday was a beautiful day and I just wanted to go out and play.

First stop was to check on the Glory Hole, since we’ve had only one major rain since the last time we looked at it back in July. This is what it looked like back then.


This is what is looks like now . . .


This is what it’s supposed to look like . . .


We need rain. Real bad.

A half-dozen Asian-American students were lined up with their sleep black motorcycles trying to get a photo with all of them in it. One of the students put the camera on the edge of the road, set the timer and ran to pose with the others. One of them spotted me and asked if I’d take their picture. Which I did with pleasure.

We headed for Winters to have lunch and went by a town park filled with people. It turned out to be a children’s festival.


The kids got to chose a pumpkin to take home . . .


There were lots of games and activities for the kids but the best thing were the exotic critters.

wintersfestival3.jpg wintersfestival4.jpgwintersfestival5.jpgwintersfestival6.jpg

We had lunch at the Putah Creek Cafe, which is a nice corner diner in downtown Winters. I had a veggie burger and a soy Chai.

They served Marionberry pie with two scoops of ice cream on it. Note to self. Make some vegan Marionberry pie. Marionberries are a type of blackberry grown in Marion County, Oregon. When I lived in Portland, I used to visit the quaint German village of Mt. Angel, Oregon in Marion County, where they have an Oktoberfest that gets 300,000 visitors. The town’s population is 3,700. I’d get Marionberry soda from the Mt. Angel Brewery.


After lunch we went to Solano Lake to commune with nature for a while.



That night I felt relaxed and at peace. The sign of a successful day having fun.

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Did I Mention I Love Snakes?

Posted by Casey on October 7, 2007

Basketball withdrawals are not pleasant . . . So I had to go out and play . . . Little did I know I’d encounter a taffy yellow and white snake in Winters, California . . .


I love snakes. Can’t resist touching them. They are wonderful creatures and everyone thinks I’m nuts for liking them. Go figure.

Posted in Stuff | 1 Comment »

My Big Moment on National TV

Posted by Casey on October 4, 2007

My big moment on ABC TV came last year—August 19, 2006, when the Monarchs booted out the Houston Comets in the first round of the WNBA Playoffs.

At halftime, I was making my way through the chaos of people behind the scorers table and on the baseline to get to where my friends were seated in the stands. It’s a tricky business dodging around people and cameras and cables and security people making sure everyone’s where they’re allowed to be.

All of a sudden a white jersey came into my range of vision and a hand gently stopped my progress as the white jersey eased around me and disappeared. I knew it was Yolanda Griffith without even looking up. Some people just have a presence about them. What I marveled at was the grace and strength she stopped me from plowing into her and how she slithered around me without missing a beat.

Posted in Stuff | 3 Comments »

Curler in Training

Posted by Casey on October 3, 2007

Yes. Good readers, I have curled. There is photographic evidence. I hope the holder of this precious evidence will email it to me before he sell copies of it on Ebay for bunches of money.

As a preface to all this, I used to be athletic as a kid. Good at softball, basketball, baseball, track and ballet . . . then I got Osgood-Schlatter Disease–I wasn’t allowed to walk for more than a half hour or so a day for a year so I wouldn’t do too much damage to my knee as I outgrew the disease. I spent years hiking the rugged hills of Southern Illinois to strengthen the knee. But it continued to be injured and abused through the years, including getting torn to bits in a bike accident, which was pretty much the last straw for it to even pretend to be normal again.

So I have a bum knee that I have to pamper to keep it working properly. But I miss doing things like hiking and playing sports. I wish I could try out for the women’s football team. That’s something I’d really like to try, at least once.

Curling is something I can do. I can use a stick to deliver the stone instead of crouching down and sliding, and that’s what I practiced Friday night. I grew up in the Midwest and am used to wintry conditions and have had to walk on ice a lot slicker than the pebbled curling ice to get across parking lots and across campuses to school and work.

I’m proud to say, even though I was running in my regular shoes several feet on the ice to deliver the stone I never slipped and fell. I think I can really do this sport so I’m joining the Wine Country Curlers.


So wish me luck . . .

Posted in Stuff | 2 Comments »

Harry Potter — the Third Book

Posted by Casey on October 3, 2007


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite of the Harry Potter movies. I liked the director’s touch a lot and was very disappointed when he didn’t do the next movie.

The book is also much better than the first two. The writing is more confident, stronger, less self-conscious, less forced. Practice makes perfect and Rowling certainly improved as a writer with this book. I didn’t lose interest part way through, as I did with the first two, which means she’s dropping more interesting crumbs of information that are resolved at the end of the book. It still tends to drag and she still has problems with pacing her scenes, but there’s enough strength of imagination and story to keep the reader from wandering off.


The difference between this book and the first two is she finally got away from consciously writing for kids. Now an argument can be made that the increasing sophistication level of the books mirrors the growth of the protagonist. The writing-to-appeal-to-kids seems a little forced in the first two books but I don’t think Rowling was trying to make the reading level equivalent to Harry Potter’s abilities at ages eleven and twelve. It’s hard enough writing a book and then consciously altering the writing style on top of that. I think Rowling finally got confident enough in her writing to let her natural style come out.

There are things that continue to drive me crazy about her writing. Her action and suspenseful scenes are paced the same as her non-action scenes and it pretty near kills the action and suspense every time. Her use of adverbs is laughable and unnecessary and sometimes just wrong. I’m appalled that they got by the editor. On the other hand, she may have had thousands of adverbs in her original manuscripts and these are the ones the editor missed crossing out. Just say no to adverbs. Really. They add nothing to the story (except a good laugh because a lot of them are Tom Swifties) and ruin otherwise good sentences.

Now on to the major problem I have with Azkaban. The fantasy slips. In a major way. For fantasy to be credible, an author has to build rules for how the magic works within the fantasy world and then follow these rules without exception. If the rules start slipping then credibility goes out the window and anyone can save the day (or do anything) by just snapping their fingers or waving a wand. If there are no rules for magic, then magic can solve everything in the story. The story has no real tension or suspense because there’s no chance of failure for the protagonist.

Rowling lets the readers know early on that Hermione is doing something that allows her to attend two classes at the same time. She then uses this same device to allow Harry to save the day. So far so good. Actually a good way to make a minor mysterious story element into the key for resolving the plot. The problem is, Rowling set up rules for this Time-Turner for Hermione to attend classes and then changed the rules when Hermione and Harry use it at the end of the book.


The Time-Turner allows Hermione to go back in time to attend a class at the same time as the class she just attended (I think that makes sense). The rules for Hermione is she cannot tell anyone what she’s doing.

Now, when Dumbledore allows Harry and Hermione to use the Time-Turner to save Sirius Black he says, “But remember this, both of you: you must not be seen. Miss Granger, you know the law–you know what is at stake . . . You–must–not–be–seen.”

So if the law is you can’t be seen when you use the Time-Turner, Hermione can’t be seen when she’s going back in time to attend class. But in the middle of the book, Ron says, “I heard her talking to Professor Vector, that Arithmancy witch, this morning. They were going on about yesterday’s lesson, but Hermione can’t’ve been there, because she was with us in Care of Magical Creatures! And Ernie McMillan told me she’s never missed a Muggle Studies class, but half of them are at the same time as Divination, and she’s never missed one of them either!”

Obviously, she’s not only seen but is fully engaged in those classes she attends using the Time-Turner.

And minutes after Dumbledore tells them they cannot be seen because it’s a law, Hermione tells Harry, “Professor McGonagall made me swear I wouldn’t tell anyone. She had to write all sorts of letters to the Ministry of Magic so I could have one. She had to tell them that I was a model student, and that I’d never, ever use it for anything except my studies . . . ” And Harry never thinks to ask, “But how did you do that without being seen?” since Dumbledore had been so adamant about it and Hermione keeps reminding Harry they can’t be seen while they save Sirius Black.

This is such a major slip in every way–plotting, world building, rules of magic–that it undermines the Time-Turner as a plot-resolving device. I’m surprised the editor didn’t catch it, since story continuity is something editors keep track of.

I hate to see such lazy attention to major plot points, especially in such a popular book. I’m afraid the quality of these books have suffered from the pressure Rowling was under to finish them and the publisher was under to get them to the readers. Putting creative writing on corporate time-tables that cater more to the consumer than the writer results in books that couldn’t possibly be as good as they would have been if Rowling had been given the time she really needed to fully engage her imagination for each book.

Posted in Stuff | 3 Comments »

US Women Win

Posted by Casey on October 1, 2007

The USA Senior National Basketball Team beat Cuba, 101-71, for the gold and a trip to the Olympics today. Congratulations everyone. The powers that be in the WNBA can breath a sigh of relief now. It would have been ugly trying to muster together the team for the Olympic qualifier in June in the middle of the WNBA season.


And the USA Senior National Soccer team overcame their loss to Brazil and the phenomenal playing of 21-year-old Marta. (Click on the arrow to play. If you click on the image, it’ll take you to YouTube.)

They beat Norway 4-1 and got the bronze. Next stop, the Olympics.


I knew they could do it.

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