What I’m Reading Now: Two Fantasies and Particle Physics

“Two Fantasies and Particle Physics” is not the title of a real book, though it should be. You also shouldn’t listen to me because my titles suck.

I read this two months ago. A Biography of Cancer indeed!

I’ve put down 1600 usable words for ASIM, chapter 11. I’m looking forward to typing another 2000 words of John opening a werewolf treatment center in 221C and running the first international clinical trial for transfusion therapy. I giggle when I imagine John and Robert, both surgeons, grumbling about needing to dust off their oncology textbooks because they need a marker that shows the werewolf curse is gone-gone; something akin to the choriogonadotropin hormone levels (hcg) for choriocarcinoma, a cancer of the placenta.

You just never know what will inspire you when you write. The Emperor of All Maladies, case in point. I borrowed it two months ago and spent all my waking hours reading it for five days. Only now I connected choriocarcinoma with werewolf curses. It’s a beautifully written book, by the way. You shouldn’t let the subject or length stop you from reading it.  (more…)

Postmortem: A Study In Magic: The Application, Chapter 10

Attention, Chapter Ten: Mr. Lestrade’s Most Productive Day of A Study In Magic: The Application is up! Yes, it took two months! I acknowledge the title could be better! I will also submit to any ear-boxing for taking so long!

At the risk of sounding like a creaky wheel, I want to state for the record writing this chapter was bloody agony. I never discarded so many drafts as this one. Last I checked, I had twenty plus drafts — for each scene! The only thing that survived from the first draft was the POV. It was Lestrade or bust. (more…)

Postmortem: Degrees of Magicalness – from Dumbledore to Lockhart

I’ve been thinking about degrees of magicalness in the Harry Potter world. It came about while I was fleshing out chapter ten of A Study in Magic: Application. So beware if you’re the type who hates spoilers.

From Great to Average to … Lockhart

This post calls for a Lockhart photo

Lockhart’s magic ability perplexes me. He excelled at memory Charms, but mediocre to bad at everything else. How? How?

Let’s suppose memory Charms are N.E.W.T. level magic. Hermione doesn’t even try to learn it until after book six, so the evidence seems to point to this direction. Based on this, one may think Lockhart had N.E.W.T. level Charms education. Neville Longbottom got an “Exceeds Expectations” for his Charms O.W.L.. Can we further assume Lockhart was at least as good as Neville in his fifth year?