mollyringle: (Default)

The more I read of currently popular fantasy, the more dismayed I am that there tends to be such a huge focus on weaponry and fighting and the protagonists being (or becoming) martial arts geniuses. I stick with some of these books anyway if, such as in The Hunger Games, they're written really well and the plot and characters are compelling. But I've got to admit that violence and weaponry and action scenes are really not my favorite things. They're never the parts I re-read for pleasure (that would be the love declarations, or some particularly amusing exchanges or incidents, or passages of beautiful writing describing something magical). I don't particularly like writing fighting-and-weapons scenes either, though sometimes I find I have to, given the way I've set things up. So now I'm pondering how to set up a fantasy book so I can spend as little time as possible in violent weapon-related scenes and still create a really good read.

I think this is actually what appeals to me about the Harry Potter world, and also stories like Howl's Moving Castle: we get a lot of time to hang out in the magic world and enjoy it, and when there's fighting, it's almost solely with spells and with using one's brain. When Hermione actually uses her fist to hit Draco, it's all the more startling and satisfying that way. Except I want to write for grown-ups more than for kids. So, yeah. Pondering this, and I see from forum discussions like this that others have pondered it too.

mollyringle: (Hogwarts)
Hi everyone,
I finally rounded out my Harry Potter condensed parody collection by writing one for Order of the Phoenix, and it is now done and you can read it here! (Also here.)

Or at least, my parody series WAS complete until they released that eighth book yesterday. I'm ignoring that detail for now.
Feel free to send anyone to my full collection of parodies if you think they'd like them. They include not only the HP books but the Lord of the Rings movies, and a couple of other random things.

Now I get to bring my attention back to my own novels, which have been a tad neglected during this process, but which I'll be happy to dive into again.

Hope you're having a lovely summer!


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, condensed

by Molly Ringle
August 1, 2016
With no permission from, and many apologies and thanks to, J.K. Rowling.


HARRY: The Dursleys are mean and my wizard friends aren’t telling me the Voldemort news and I’m grumpy. I mean, yes, that’s my usual mood for most of the series, but I’m REALLY FEELING IT this book, you guys.
Then his summer gets a lot more exciting when DEMENTORS appear in the alley and corner HARRY and DUDLEY! A DEMENTOR sucks DUDLEY’s face until HARRY chases it off with the Patronus Charm.
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT OF CAPS LOCK RAGE: Hello! I’ll be tallying caps lock rage. So far, one line for Harry, followed by one for Dudley. Carry on.
Read more... )
mollyringle: (Hogwarts)

So I'm re-reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in order to (finally!) round out my condensed parody collection. And here was this I came across at the start of chapter 16:

"Hermione had actually progressed to vanishing kittens"

Another item for the list of times the Hogwarts curriculum really disturbs me. Making KITTENS VANISH FOREVER? How is this okay, and not Unforgivable? Or even if it's okay under wonky wizarding ethics, how is it fine with Hermione, who gets all up in arms about house-elves' rights? Apparently the Vanishing spell doesn't just make things invisible, either; it sends them into "non-being." So that's better than Avada

And the book even says they were moving up from Vanishing snails to Vanishing mammals, because mammals are much more difficult to Vanish, so therefore the POINT in this class is to learn how to make living creatures vanish forever. When are they planning to use that? Defense against bear attacks? Surely Stunning is more ethical there. (And then why don't they just Vanish Umbridge or Voldemort...ha...)

It's a messed-up school, all right. But I guess it still makes for a good story.

mollyringle: (Buffy folk - by mangofandango)
I see that the small class size of Hogwarts is a trending topic lately. The "Voldemort-era anti-baby-boom" explanation as shown there on Buzzfeed may actually make some sense. But on the whole I'd attribute the small-ish cast to a trope you see a lot in fantasy, sci-fi, and other works involving extensive world-building. As far as I can tell, TV Tropes doesn't have a name for it (or maybe they do, but I'm not searching deep enough), but I'd call it something like "Not Enough People For This World."

You get this impression not only in Harry Potter, but in Game of Thrones and other fandoms. We see, or at least hear of, armies and other groups made up of thousands or millions of people, and we know we're dealing with a world fairly vast and large, yet all the widely-strewn characters keep bumping into each other within it. And when you do need an army of millions, they aren't there and you end up with seven or eight familiar faces doing the heroic defending. (GoT does have people hiring entire armies, I know. But at the same time, they also frequently have people traveling hundreds of miles and randomly encountering someone they know. And you occasionally get the weird impression that some entire kingdoms have, like, fifty or sixty people living there.)

TV Tropes does have the "It's a Small World After All" trope and the "Contrived Coincidence" trope, which both overlap what I'm describing, but are not quite the same thing. Thoughts? Anyone else have the Not Enough People For This World impression in other material?
mollyringle: (Gryffindor)
It's not The Onion, nor even

"Rowling says that she should have put Hermione and Harry together in the Harry Potter series instead of Hermione and Ron.

“I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment,” she says. “That’s how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron.”

“I know, I’m sorry,” she continued, “I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.”


I wouldn't say Harry/Hermione are the ideal couple, but they did have rather more chemistry and a better personality match than either Harry/Ginny or Hermione/Ron, so...fine with me! Going to be fun to watch fandom go completely insane for a little while.

In any case: What a book means to the reader is what it means to the reader, and nothing can change that. And she's not revising and reissuing the books, so it's not Lucas levels of messing with stuff. I find it interesting to hear what the author thinks of the series with her hindsight, but we can all go right on shipping whoever we like--Hermione/Snape, Luna/Harry, anything at all. Tolkien never admitted Frodo and Sam were in love, but I'll always know it's so.
mollyringle: (Willow - Hi - by aom_leiconz)
My favorite influences, of the moment, for series that do a good job juggling large casts, humor, angst/tragedy, romance, a teen angle, and a strong supernatural element: the Harry Potter books, the Buffy TV series, and the Avatar: the Last Airbender series.

Why I mention this:
This Greek myth series has been giving me a writing experience I've rarely had: that of handling a large cast, over a sprawling amount of time, with lots of subplots and embedded smaller stories. (Thus "The Chrysomelia Stories" instead of "The Chrysomelia Series.")

You know that feeling when you're watching a TV series and thinking, "What ever happened to Person X, or that development we haven't heard anything about since the beginning of the season? What's going on with those?" Well, I now understand how the writers are probably answering, "We're BUSY, okay? There's all this other stuff to deal with!" So I shall try not to drop any threads or subplots utterly, but it's a complicated matter, and I have new respect for the writers and editors who organize such things into a coherent whole.
mollyringle: (Hogwarts)
Latest parody. I manage about one of these a year, it would seem. Only one HP book left for me to do, though! Enjoy...


by Molly Ringle
with respect and apologies for J.K. Rowling

READERS haul book off shelf and nearly fall over under its weight.
READERS: What the hell? Why is it so huge?
ROWLING: Funny story! So my editors were like, "People are getting a bit tired of Quidditch," and I was like, "How could anyone ever get tired of Quidditch?" And they were like, "Let's try some other big competition instead," and I was like, "OR, we could do BOTH." So yeah. We ended up with a 734-page novel.


Meet FRANK. He's an ancient war veteran who's had a lonely, thankless life guarding the Riddle Mansion because he has absolutely no friends. Everyone say, "Hi, Frank!"
READERS: Hi, Frank.
FRANK: Now what's this? Strange lights in the mansion? Better investigate.
VOLDEMORT: Ah, Wormtail, murdering people is so great. Won't it be awesome when we kill Harry Potter?
FRANK: Now Mister, you wait just a--
VOLDEMORT: Oh, a Muggle. Everyone say, "Bye, Frank."
READERS: Bye, Frank.
Read more... )
mollyringle: (Gryffindor)
Dumbledore on introducing the Triwizard Tournament: "...this time, no champion will find himself or herself in mortal danger." Yeah...I mean, haha, it's not like we'll have you face fire-breathing dragons, or throw you down to the bottom of the lake, or anything.

On pacing: it's striking me how oddly stretched-out the tasks in the Triwizard Tournament are. You select the champions, then a month later you get the first task, then three months later the second task; then three months after that, the third task. No sporting event in the world takes this long--even the Olympics are over in two weeks. Instead, they're all in this for a full school year, and meanwhile, the delegations of kids from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang are studying...where? In their ship/caravan? Or are they in Hogwarts classes? One way or another I guess this is a year abroad for them.

As someone who wrestles with plot issues on a daily basis, I clearly recognize this as a method for drawing out the action over the course of a school year in order to end with the Voldemort showdown conveniently right before summer break. But on the surface, it makes me think, "Wow, nice job, wizarding world. You managed to invent a sport that's even slower-paced than cricket or golf."

Notes on the Yule Ball:

PARVATI: Padma, did you hear? Ron and Harry are writing a book on how to be the LAMEST DATES EVER.
PADMA: Word.

Also, Hermione's gorgeous new look makes it so even Draco can't come up with a bad thing to say about her. Yeah, RIGHT. When you look your absolute best is EXACTLY when your arch-bully says the meanest things about you. Deep breath--okay--back now from middle school; it's all right.
mollyringle: (kodama)
Hmm, I ought to find me an Avatar icon. Anyway: about a week ago, our household finished off the series with a marathon viewing of all four Sozin's Comet episodes. Whew. Exhausting but very satisfying.

We discovered many a fine moment previous to that, of course. For example, I must make mention of "The Ember Island Players" episode. HAH!! It's like the condensed parody version of the whole series till now. Love. Fake-Zuko's rippling Revlon hair might've been my favorite, though Chinese-dragon Appa was cool. Also appreciated the remark, "Your Zuko costume's pretty good, but your scar's on the wrong side."

As for coolest moment, the episode with Zuko and Aang meeting the dragons was way up there. Gorgeous.

And most heart-wrenching, going back a bit, was Appa being lost for a while. It's gentle compared to the heart-wrenching moments of LOTR or Buffy, but still, so sad, as anyone who's ever had a pet can attest. However, everything turns out okay, and that's a major piece of what I love about this series. It doesn't put your emotions *too* deeply through any wringers, nor destroy any part of your soul.

Also, the kids loved it--it began affecting them at fundamental levels. The 7-year-old now happily has jasmine tea with me at breakfast. (He says, "Mmm, jasmine tea" in an Uncle Iroh voice.) And in the bath, of course, they waterbend at each other. "Look out, it's Prince Zuko!" *SPLASH*

By far the most compelling character arc is, of course, Zuko's. I have so many warm fuzzies for his relationship with Uncle Iroh alone, but his awkward bonding with the rest of the cast was a total delight too.
(Oh yeah, on the best-of list, possibly the funniest bit of dialogue all series:
Sokka: My first girlfriend turned into the moon.
Zuko: That's rough, buddy.)
...But anyway, Zuko's arc, like Spike's on Buffy & Angel, or even Snape's in Harry Potter (kind of), is interesting because it's the most dramatic change; the most redemptive. But none of those guys are the technical heroes of the stories. Aang, Buffy, and Harry Potter all start out as pretty good people, and despite some dark moments, they never go *too* dark, and therefore their arc is only from "younger and more innocent to older and braver," without the dramatic change that the aforementioned former enemies go through.

So this makes me wonder: can a hero ever be quite as interesting as those secondary characters who go from villain to ally over the course of the epic? Just throwing that out there as something to think about.

I've also caught up now to all available episodes of Downton Abbey and Sherlock, so we can talk spoilers for those if you want. Carson, more tea, please.
mollyringle: (Gryffindor)
A few Avatar thoughts, salvaged from Facebook (where they'll become near-impossible to find again after a short while)...

Jan. 30: Avatar episode with the singing nomad hippies, and the cave of love, and Sokka improvising a badger-mole song: funniest episode ever, so far.

Feb. 3: For those with whom I've talked about the Zuko/Katara ship--I saw this online.
Zutara & mad Aang
Hee. Cute. (Poor Aang.) My compliments to the artist.

Feb. 10: Saw the "Tales of Ba Sing Se" episode of Avatar tonight. Cannot decide what was funnier: Sokka getting involved in a haiku battle, or Zuko's date with Jin. Iroh's story was delightful and awesome, ending on a note of so so sad. Meanwhile, Zuko firebending the lamps into lighted-ness on his date was a surprisingly romantic gesture.

Feb. 12: I was going to say, "Someone should make a T-shirt that says 'Jasmine Dragon Tea Shop, Ba Sing Se,'" but of course someone already did. Sweet. (Scroll down about a third of the way. They also have a "Fly Sky Bison" shirt.)

In other news, I'm embarking on a re-read of Goblet of Fire now, so I can finally parody it. Oh yeah. It has the Quidditch World Cup along with the Goblet of Fire competition. Okay, so maybe this will go in the parody:

ROWLING: Funny story! So, my editors were like, "People are getting a bit tired of Quidditch," and I was like, "How could anyone ever get tired of Quidditch?!" And they were like, "Let's just try some other big competition instead," and I was like, "OR, we could do BOTH." Which is how we ended up with a 734-page-long novel.
mollyringle: (Hermione)
Upon noting with friends how both botany and Harry-Potter-verse utilize a fair amount of faux Latin, I thought it might be fun to make up a quiz similar to that "IKEA product or Lord of the Rings character?" one that was going around a while back. We can call this one...

Houseplant or Hogwarts spell?

Let's go! What are the following--plants or spells? Get out your wands and try casting them:

1. Alohomora!
2. Ficus Elastica!
3. Gloriosa Superba!
4. Protego Horribilis!
5. Wingardium Leviosa!
6. Hedera Helix!
7. Salvio Hexia!
8. Furnunculus!
9. Dieffenbachia!
10. Dracaena Marginata!

Answers below the cut )
mollyringle: (Gryffindor)
This gave me an LOL this morning...

Being Fred and George, they completely would tease Ron about it if they'd noticed. I assume they just never looked at the boring old dormitory while working their mischief--can't think of another explanation.

Though on the serious side, if they had noticed, they could have saved everyone a heap of trouble. Hmm.
mollyringle: (Gryffindor)
SPOILERS AHOY!! (I didn't think anyone still lived who didn't know how the Harry Potter series ends, but on Facebook I was proven wrong. So. SPOILERS, YARR!)

1) Maggie Smith rocks. By stepping out between Snape and Harry early in the movie, and dueling Snape straight out of the castle, she once again proves her awesomeness without even saying a word. Is there insurance I can buy to make sure I, too, have the steel and charisma of Dame Maggie when I'm elderly?

2) I find it ridiculously entertaining when actors get to do disguise-potion identities, such as Helena Bonham Carter pretending to be Hermione pretending to be Bellatrix.

3) Young Snape in his Pensieve flashback (which all of a sudden resembled one of the more romantic Tim Burton movies) is pretty much designed to make us Gothy-hearted types fall in love with him. But I do think it annoying and unjust--or just stupid on Snape's part--not to let us, or practically anyone else, see that attractive side of him, like, ever. Okay, so he was a double agent and had to be noxious to the good guys. But I don't know; he seemed to actually hate them. And that irks me.

4) I'm so glad the Hermione/Ron kiss didn't involve a house-elf discussion. However, getting drenched by dead-basilisk-infused water doesn't seem like the tidiest time to mouth someone else's face, either. Oh well.

5) Why am I crying so much at this movie? Why is Rupert Grint making me cry most of all? I was not prepared for his reaction at finding Fred. Sidenote, however: if you didn't know about Fred, and you were watching the film on a computer screen (which I was), you might've had trouble figuring out who they were kneeling and sobbing over. It's a bit subtle. But since I did know, it was very very sad and effective.

6) LOL at That Awkward Moment When Lord Voldemort Hugs You. Jeez, I never felt sorrier for Draco. (But I was proud of him for clearly not wanting to step forward and join the Dark Side.)

7) Neville's speech was another weepy point. But I wanted to step in there with a wet washcloth and interrupt him to take care of his head wound. It's a mom thing, perhaps.

8) Signs I'm getting older: Daniel Radcliffe looked handsome to me all middle-aged up. More so than usual, even. He also resembled youngish Michael Douglas a little that way. Huh. Odd.

And finally, irrelevant to this particular movie but still funny...

mollyringle: (Hogwarts)
Here it is! I'll leave it up in this probationary form, so to speak, for a few days--i.e., it's still open to additions and corrections if you think of any. Either way, enjoy!

By Molly Ringle, with all proper credits and apologies to J.K. Rowling, who likely has no idea I'm alive.
Rating: PG-13. Like many of my jokes, this might not be entirely suitable for younger kids.


Midnight. HARRY is under his covers with a flashlight, reading about witches who enjoyed tickling themselves with flames. Sounds weird out of context, huh?
Three owls come sailing in through the window and thump onto his bed.
HARRY: Cool, mail!
RON: (*via letter*) Check it out, we won money! So we're in Egypt. Here's a Sneakoscope, to let you know when untrustworthy people are near. Happy birthday!
READERS: The Dursleys are near. Why isn't it spinning and lighting up?
HERMIONE: (*via letter*) Hey, big boy. I took a moment from writing ridiculously long essays to send you this. Take good care of that thing for me. *wink*
HARRY: Uh...(*unwraps gift*) Oh! Broomstick maintenance kit. Nice.
Last package is a snarling MONSTER BOOK that snaps and growls and hides under the bed.
HAGRID: (*via letter*) Happy birthday, Harry! Thought you might need this. Won't say no more here. "Shifty glance around." Wait, that's my stage direction. See you soon!
HARRY: Aw, they love me! I'm so happy.
READERS: Happy?? Monster Book! Growling! Under the bed! Read more... )
mollyringle: (haunted house)
Finished re-reading Prisoner of Azkaban, and I have a few questions for those of you who have spent more time thinking about this book than I have:

1) Isn't it a tiny bit early for Lupin to embrace Sirius as if they were brothers? Okay, Lupin does ask first whether Sirius "switched" (the secret-keeper deal), and he did see Pettigrew seemingly alive and well on the Marauder's Map. But up till that moment, he supposedly believed Sirius guilty just like everyone else did, and he hasn't actually seen Pettigrew transform back into himself yet. So wouldn't he suspect that Sirius and Pettigrew were still tricking him somehow--or both on the Dark Side, but feuding with each other--and demand a rather more in-depth explanation before hugging him? Still, the hug is such a great surprise moment, I hate to deprive them of it.

2) For that matter, why doesn't Sirius go to Lupin earlier on and tell him the truth? Or at least leave him a note advising him to take a good look at Ron's rat? If Sirius is sneaking in and out of Hogwarts, he could manage it (or have Crookshanks deliver the note).

3) If Harry sees his super-awesome scene-saving Patronus by the lake the first time around, then why don't the other changes he and Hermione bring about with the time-turner also happen the first time around? Why doesn't Buckbeak get saved? (Or do we know for sure he is actually executed the first time? Hmm.) Etc. Time travel never makes sense, and drives me crazy, which is why I don't write it, though it is fun to read or watch.

4) Anything you think I should mention in the condensed parody version? Now's your time to be fun and silly and potentially get your name in the credits. Meanwhile, Happy Halloween!
mollyringle: (books & pearls)
If you're tired of giving Amazon all your ebook revenues, do stop by All Romance Ebooks, which conveniently carries nearly all my titles in many e-formats, and sends out a fun and spicy newsletter too. One of those titles is...

...Of Ghosts and Geeks, silly comedic paranormal novella for your Halloween reading pleasure.

Also, its sister site, OmniLit, carries non-romance, including my one title that isn't on ARE (What Scotland Taught Me). Good site to know.

Now, in other news, I continue reading Prisoner of Azkaban for parodying and enjoying purposes, but dudes! I don't really need to, for someone has summarized the entire Harry Potter series in comic-strip form in one huge condensed-parody poster. Awesome. Still, I suppose I'll do my humble written version eventually.
mollyringle: (Gryffindor)
In re-reading Prisoner of Azkaban, I've just gotten to Fred and George presenting Harry with the Marauder's Map*--a big moment disguised as a small scene. And I can't help daydreaming, as I do most times Fred and George pop up, about how different the series might have been if they were the center of things instead of Harry. It probably wouldn't have the same darkness and poignant-tragic overtones, and I can appreciate the value of that brooding atmosphere. But I'm also a person who places comedy above nearly all else, so I suppose it's natural that my affections are settling in the long term on the twins.

Imagine it: getting to see all that managed mischief firsthand instead of from the sidelines or in dialogue summary afterward! Would one of them be the Chosen One in my scenario? I don't know; perhaps. If they were the focus of the series, that might be inevitable. Maybe it would also be good to turn one into a girl, to balance things out, while not losing any of the mischievous cheer.

This would of course make a certain event in book 7 all the more heartbreaking if it still took place as written. Then again, if it were up to me and my comedic bent, I probably wouldn't allow that. Dumbledore and the swirly dream-state between life and death would send that troublemaker right back again to the living.

* I kind of wanted to write " Marauders' " rather than "Marauder's," because it was originally created and used by four marauders. But it does say "Marauder's," and I guess the singular works, in the sense of "any interested and qualified marauder."
mollyringle: (Hogwarts)
Sweet! I've apparently nailed down my own little corner of Harry Potter searches on Google.

One of the most common search terms that land people on my webpage is "what did ginny catch percy doing." In case you don't recall, this question references Chamber of Secrets, in which Ginny giggles secretively about something or other she walked in on Percy doing. At the end, it's revealed that all he was doing was snogging Penelope Clearwater. Yawn.

But! Not until today did I run that Google search myself ("what did ginny catch percy doing"), and my parody of Chamber of Secrets comes up as the very first result--at least when I run it. To the tiny degree I understand Google, I gather results may vary based upon the user's location, browsing history, and who knows what else.

Still, kind of amusing and cool. And I suppose it means I need to pick up Prisoner of Azkaban again and get back on that parodying horse. I apologize for the long delay on that. It actually takes longer to compose the parodies than to read the books, is the reason. That and having novels of my own to write and market. I know; excuses, excuses.
mollyringle: (Gryffindor)
Finally got around to seeing this on DVD. I thought it quite good, one of the best so far, though my heart may always give the true "favorite" label to Goblet of Fire with its bubbly rom-com feel. Anyway, notes follow, with spoilers for part 1 if you care.

Yes, that was a totally random Ginny/Harry make-out scene (the "zip me up" bit). But it was worth it for George sneaking around the kitchen in the background in order to position himself at the sink, leering, sipping from his mug, and drawling, "Morning."

Harry/Hermione awkward dancing in the tent was awkward. Subtext conversation as they stared at each other afterward:
Harry: So, you know, do you wanna...(eyebrow lift of innuendo)
Hermione: Eh...maybe?
Harry: Just to pass the time, as it were? You think? No?
Hermione: Nah. Headache. Plus you're scruffy-looking lately.
Harry: 'Kay. Go mope about Ron some more.
Hermione: 'Kay.

Never expected to say, "That guy in the bit part as the snatcher Scabior was strangely hot," but he was. In a 1980s-Adam-Ant kind of way.

I never liked Dobby much until he was within minutes of getting killed. Only intending "to maim or seriously injure"--hee! So after that, his death scene was quite sad.

I still wish Rowling had done more with Draco rather than reducing him to quivering uncertainty for the entire 7th (and much of the 6th) installment. Oh well. Nothing to be done about it now.
mollyringle: (Gryffindor)
Here it is! Enjoy...

By [ profile] lemonlye (Molly Ringle), with apologies, disclaimers, and gratitude for J.K. Rowling.


HARRY: (yawn) Magic.
The DURSLEYS fling breakfast everywhere in panic.
UNCLE VERNON: Go to your room! How dare you mention your offensive, abnormal lifestyle?
HARRY: It's not a choice, you bigot! I was born this way.


HARRY finds DOBBY sitting on his bed.
HARRY: And you would be...the love child of Yoda and Jar-Jar Binks?
DOBBY: Dobby is a house elf, and is Harry Potter's number one skinny, annoying little fan!Read more... )


mollyringle: (Default)

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