First of all I have to mention the huge loss in the literary world today, John Updike died at age 76. Here's the link to his obituary in the New York Times:
John Updike visited Cornell when I was there and I got to attend one of his readings and a private talk on the art of creative writing. He was the first major writer I ever got to hear speak on the craft of writing (after I had become serious about writing).
Also, the ALA announced all of their awards and I'm super excited about Savvy by Ingrid Law winning a newberry honor, and A Curse as Dark as Gold winning a new award for best new talent! Congrats to Laurie Halse Anderson (she's amazing) for her lifetime achievement award.
Here's the link to the full story and all of the award winners:
And finally, J.K. Rowling's original cafe is up for sale! Anyone who followed my blog adventures in Scotland this past summer will know I devoted a great amount of time to figuring out the truth about which spot in Edinburgh Harry Potter was truly originally written in.
For anyone who missed those entries or needs a refresher-here it is.
J.K. Rowling originally wrote the first Harry Potter books in Edinburgh on Nicholson St. in Nicholson's cafe, a second story cafe. Nicholson's eventually sold the space and moved to...now I'm drawing a blank, George IV Street? and opened up The Elephant House, and then on Marshall Street, their littler sister cafe, Elephants and Bagels (which was my favorite!).
Anyway I spent a good deal of time my first week in Edinburgh trying to track down the original spot- was it The Elephant House (with their HUGE sign in the window claiming to be the spot where Harry Potter was born?) or Elephants and Bagels?? Or was it even a cafe at all?
And it turns out that the famous cafe was now a chinese buffet! And I can tell you, I felt the energy there! I loved it there, even though I famously do not love chinese food (only bc Ive had too much of it in my life).
What I thought was interesting was how hidden this place was. Its on the second story of shops, its not well marked, and only upstairs right before the entrance is a small bulletin board with a few articles about J.K. Rowling that let you know that this is the spot-you've completed your pilgrimage. But those boards are not well spotted, I only saw them on my way out.
In a way, it was odd. The story about JK and the cafe is so famous, I thought the place would be eating up the publicity, or the secret would be out and tourists would all be making a stop there. But it was kind of like a best kept secret (or...really old news). I kind of liked the fact that I had to work for the information and find the place, it made it more significant to be there.
But alas, it will be a chinese buffet no more. Will it become a Potter museum?
Here's the article:
Here are some pics from this summer inside the Chinese Buffet/Nicholson's Cafe/Birthplace of Harry Potter
Now I feel nostalgic, and inspired to do some more writing!
Currently Reading: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants