Column #146 My First Book!
August 1, 2003
My First Book!
Joanne Kathleen Rowling is her name. She was born in 1965 in an oddly-named little town called Chipping Sodbury. It’s in England. So that explains that. It’s just down the lane from Cucumber Up the Bum.
As a young girl she loved to write. She started her first story when she was six years old. It was called “Rabbit” but she never finished it.
Her life was tough. In 1990 her mother died of Multiple Sclerosis. In 1993 her marriage went bust after just eleven months, leaving her with an infant daughter. She could only find odd jobs and they didn’t last long. She spent time as a secretary for a publishing company. She worked for a year with Amnesty International.
By 1994 she was almost destitute, struggling to raise her baby in a rodent-infested flat in Edinburgh. They lived off a welfare check of just 70 pounds ($100) a week. They couldn’t afford heat.
It was at about this time, not quite ten years ago, that Joanne Kathleen Rowling (you probably know of her as J.K. Rowling) sat down and began writing again. This time her story wasn’t about a rabbit. It was about a young boy who discovered he could pull them out of hats.
The rest, as they say, is history.
And it pisses me off.
Rowling’s book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” was published in the States in 1998. She’s followed it up with four more. To date she’s sold nearly 200 million copies, seen two of the books turned into motion pictures, and raked in over $100 million.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy for the lady. What pisses me off is that Rowling’s books have made her the highest-earning woman in England, while my own stuff — some of these stories take more than an hour to write — actually costs me money. You have no idea how many pints I have to swill to come up with this drivel.
Oh, I know there are people who say the Potter books are all part of some Satanic plot. I’m aware of the rumor that Phil Taylor put a “magic spell” from a Potter book on John Part at the Golden Harvest North American Cup in Saskatoon, turning the Canadian into Tina DiGregorio. But I just don’t believe it.
Rowling’s success with the Potter series is truly phenomenal. At Amazon.com advance orders for her fifth book, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” reached nearly a million, three weeks before the June 21 release date! It blows my mind.
I think it sucks that Rowling is the only one making millions writing these books. I think I can do it too. In fact, I’m going write the next installment in the series right now. And, it’s going to have a darts theme.
HARRY DARTER AND THE SHARPENING STONE
Wide-eyed, Harry hopped out of his bed at Hogwarts Castle and threw on his clothes. “Ron!” he yelled to his mate, yanking back the covers, “it’s Saturday, dude; we gotta get on our brooms and fly!”
Ron shot out of bed, leaving his bird, Hermonie alone, but looking mighty fine in her knickers. “Blimey, Harry, we’re LATE. The Nimbus ain’t fast enough. We’re gonna have to find a portal.”
Quickly Ron dressed while Harry snuck a peek at Hermonie. The boys dashed from the castle to search for a portal down by Hagrid’s cottage near the lake. Hagrid is a good friend of the chums and he looks like Andy Fordham.
Milliseconds after entering the portal, an old Marmite jar, the boys tumbled out at the Diefenbaker Canada Centre. Earnestly they picked their way to the Saskatoon Prairieland Exhibition Grounds and the Golden Harvest tournament hall. Along the way they passed many cows and hockey players.
Suddenly Harry shrieked. He slumped to the ground, his hands pressed tightly against the lightening-bolt-shaped scar on his forehead. It was a very ominous and foreboding moment.
“Crikey, Harry! Tell me it ain’t so! Has the Dark Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters followed us all the way to the Canadian prairies?” Ron was deeply concerned.
“No, no mate. But I’ve gotta dash back to Hogwarts. FAST. I forgot me stone!
“Drat that, you blasted wanker. Hermoine’s there in her knickers! You and your dull darts are stayin’ put, mate. You’re keepin’ your magic wand in your wizard robe!”
“Jeepers creepers,” exclaimed the two blokes as they entered the tournament hall.
“Everybody’s here,” cried Ron as he surveyed the milling crowd. “There’s Roger Carter! There’s Roland Scholten! There’s Lionel Sams! There’s Ronnie Baxter! OH MY GOD, there’s the new World Champion over there!”
“WOW! That is John Part.” Harry was very impressed. “But I wonder why he’s wearing Tina DiGregorio’s skirt?”
The two chums exchanged a puzzled glance and then, realizing, chuckled in a plucky British manner and strolled to the desk to register.
Well, that’s all I’ve managed to write so far. My six-pack’s spent so I’m technically not capable of penning more drivel.
But I really would like to finish my book. I very much want to “share the magic” of Harry Darter and our wonderful sport to a new generation. I’d also like to have millions of dollars just like J.K. Rowling.
So, please take a moment to send me some beer.
From the Field,
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