Getting back in gear

•July 28, 2017 • 2 Comments

I’ve finally made my way through most of the pages and updated the links, hooray! This turned out to be laborious, but also gave me the opportunity to check back in and fix and modify some things. So aside from links on the artist pages (which I’ll still get to, but hardly anyone ever clicks them anyway), the website is functional again. Only nine months later, sigh.

On a happier note, my seven-year-old and I have been continuing to make our way through the books. Now that it’s summer he’s often asking to read several chapters a day, and we’re just about to hit Bill and Fleur’s wedding, so getting close! If you noticed the banner artwork stopped rotating, I did that for him – we’re checking out the pictures at the end of every chapter we read so I’m updating it with where he and I are in the books, the way I did when I was originally posting things here. I’ll put the rotation back in once we finish.

I’ve also just created a simpler email address, hpcjosie@gmail.com.

Hope you’re all having a lovely summer! It’s been lovely to see the new domain picking up traffic again the past couple of months. Thanks, as always, for being here, <3

Sigh.

•June 2, 2017 • 12 Comments

Back in November, I had to have a pretty major surgery (between the anesthesia and the painkillers, I have virtually zero memories from a 2 1/2-month span). It didn’t occur to me before I went in that my domain name, hpcompanion.com, would be up for renewal during that time, and because I was so spaced out, I missed the renewal deadline.

At which point some enterprising company, recognizing the traffic this site used to get, swooped in and bought it for advertisers.

I established this new domain name, hp-companion.com, but I had a problem: the 500+ pages on this site had been built with absolute links, meaning that any time you clicked a link on the site it tried to take you to the old domain, and therefore sent you to ads. For various reasons changing this was super challenging, and I haven’t had the time or space to attempt it. So the site has mostly sat derelict.

I’ve now finally begun going back through and updating. All of the menus will take you to the correct place. I’ve also worked my way through Book One and fixed all of those pages, including links to a great many of the images that had also stopped working. I’m hoping to make my way through enough of the site soon that it’s fully functional again, and I’ll post here (and try to share in a couple of other places) when I do.

In the meantime, thank you for finding this place again, and my deepest apologies for its state. It’s been quite a year for me – things are/will be okay, but quite a year. I’m devastated to have lost the domain, as we’d built up a pretty nice little corner of the internet here – traffic has of course completely plummeted since. I’ve never made income from the site, but I liked to know that people were enjoying it. Hopefully that will gradually pick up again once everything is functional.

Anyway. Thanks for sticking around, and love to you all. I’ll let you know when more is up to date. <3

Josie

Cursed Child, Take One

•August 16, 2016 • 11 Comments

I have to be honest, I’d been dreading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ever since I heard it was being released. I’ve grown increasingly disenchanted with Rowling since Deathly Hallows was released nine years ago – she’s continued to meddle and insist on controlling this world and these characters that now feel like they should belong to us. I stopped following Pottermore altogether after several of her posts there felt poorly conceived, contradictory, and in some cases just plain culturally insensitive. I was worried that this play/script would exacerbate some of these problems.

I finally broke down and read it today, though. And… I mostly enjoyed it. It has some huge problems – the main villain is cringe-worthy both in how they are drawn and in their resolution. There are some big gaps in the storytelling that read like bad fanfiction. And I have a HUGE problem with the relationship between Al and Scorpius being set up with obvious romantic overtones and then that being thrown out the window when we’re abruptly informed at the end that they’re both straight (apparently Rowling is okay with saying her characters are gay in interviews, but not in actually writing them that way). But overall, I see what Rowling and her collaborators were trying to do, and I’d say they were moderately successful.

I don’t know whether I’ll want to integrate it here down the road, though regardless I’ll have to allow some time for the fan art to build up before that’s practical. I just left the job I’ve been at for six years that first pulled me away from this place, so I’m hoping to have a bit of time for occasional updates again. We shall see! In the meantime, I’d love your thoughts on the new script as well.

Talk soon!

Josie

The next generation

•May 2, 2016 • 7 Comments

This website went live in February of 2009. That August my first son was born. I spent many days at home with him, collecting artwork as he napped, writing chapter summaries as he drank a bottle or played on the floor. The first couple of years of his life were, for me, largely about him and Harry.

He’s six and a half now. And tonight I read him the first chapter of book one. He’s never seen the movies, has no context at all. He marveled as a cat turned into a professor; his jaw dropped when he heard about a man twice as tall as a normal man and five times as wide; he wondered what on earth the owls were about; he laughed when he heard about a man who could tuck his beard into his belt. He decided the Dursleys did NOT sound like very nice people, and that maybe not-nice-people might be what Muggles are.

I had tears streaming down my face as I finished (“To Harry Potter – the Boy Who Lived!”). It was a moment I’ll never, ever forget. I showed him the pictures on this site. And as he went off to bed, he begged me to tell him the title of chapter two and to promise to read it tomorrow, so he can find out what glass might vanish.

This is what great books are all about. I’m cherishing sharing them with a new generation tonight.

Up for some trivia?

•September 26, 2015 • 2 Comments

I’ve added a new page of sorts to the site, just to share something I’ve been enjoying myself. I came upon Sporcle for the first time a few years ago and enjoyed some of the Harry Potter quizzes that had been posted there – they were of a much higher quality than I’d ever seen. Lately, I’m not sure why, I’ve been diving into them again. It’s a little tricky to weed out the good ones on the site, so I thought I’d post links to my favorites here. Hope you enjoy!

Harry Potter Quizzes

The Next Generation

•July 21, 2015 • 2 Comments

Well, this has been a long time coming. :)

This page has been planned for years, and is probably the single most requested page on the site (though a character page for Snape might have an argument there). It also brings one of my sections – the ‘Off Camera’ portion of the site, which shows what happens during times not covered by the books – to completion. I’m very happy to be posting it today.

I picked up Harry Potter again this week, for the first time in ages. It actually took me a while to figure out where I’d put my books in my move. My move happened last August, so that gives you an idea of how far removed I’ve been from Harry’s world. It was a surreal experience to be unable to find them, but once I did I dove into Phoenix, reading it cover to cover for the first time in years. It was like greeting an old friend. And I couldn’t help but add some new material to this site, as well.

I don’t know how much I’ll be adding right now, though I do have some more material partially finished on standby. But wanted to at least share this. Thanks for stopping by – I hope you enjoy!

Harry Potter Off Camera: The Next Generation

Checking In

•October 30, 2014 • 11 Comments

I was chatting with some friends last night and this site came up, and as I was thinking about it this morning I decided I’d stop in and say hello. I know it’s been a while. :)

I built this website after the seventh book came out, with the hopes that it could have a lasting place in the fandom. All of the other websites I’d seen weren’t really designed with longevity in mind so much as satisfying a fan base living in the fervor of the book releases. It’s now been seven years since our last book, and three since our last movie. And while that fervor has died down, there is still a new generation coming to learn and love the books (my son is five, so will be joining that generation soon), and I hope that this website can continue to be a place for them. That was my goal anyway, and given the million or so visits it’s gotten since my last update, I like to think I’m achieving it in some way.

I’m still very proud of finishing my initial chapter-by-chapter project. There are a couple of pages that to me seem conspicuously missing from my secondary projects, and I’m sure I will be back to finish them one day; there is also a new generation of artists whose work I hope to one day incorporate (and discover!). And of course when I read back into some of the things I wrote years ago I’m rather embarrassed by the writing, though I’m learning that’s a lifelong process. Regardless, right now my head is in a lot of places, and this unfortunately isn’t one of them. But I haven’t forgotten this project, or the community here that helped make it so wonderful.

Anyway, thanks for being here. I hope you enjoy the work as much as I enjoyed putting it here. Be well! :)