I remember a lot of things, regardless if the want is there. It’s bittersweet yet feels like hatred caressing every part of my being. The way it strokes and comes and goes like waves. The heaviness of the tide and how it pulls me in and out of consciousness.

I call these memories.

How J.K. Rowling Plotted Harry Potter with a Hand-Drawn Spreadsheet

At the height of the Harry Potter novels’ popularity, I asked a number of people why those books in particular enjoyed such a devoted readership. Everyone gave almost the same answer: that author J.K. Rowling “tells a good story.” The response at once clarified everything and nothing; of course a “good story” can draw a large, enthusiastic (and, at that time, impatient) readership, but what does it take to actually tell a good story? People have probably made more money attempting, questionably, to pin down, define, and teach the best practices of storytelling, but at the top of this post, we have a revealing scrap of Rowling’s own process. And I do, almost literally, mean a scrap: this piece of lined paper contains part of the handwritten plot spreadsheet she used to write the fifth Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

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“Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. And it’s much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world!”  ― Neil Gaiman

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” ― Garrison Keillor

“Books make great gifts because they can unveil hidden secrets.”–Dan Brown

She was afraid of being lovers and I didn’t understand why. She never told me. After the breakup, we couldn’t be friends, even if we wanted to try. She couldn’t be both she said, and now, I can’t be with her. We either became lovers for life, or became strangers forever. I would have been afraid as well, if I knew that if we didn't work out, we’d be nothing.
—  Michael Daaboul