Friday, May 15, 2009

10 Questions With...

Today's interview is with the glorious, the gorgeous, the brilliant, the one-of-a-kind GazeboGal, HPKCHC's head Quidditch coach!

We'll start with the basics...

Which is your favorite Harry Potter book?
Prisoner of Azkaban for two reasons. First because of that wonderful half hour when Harry believes that he is going to live with Sirius - so much healing and wonderfulness is on the horizon for him - and when it falls through, he still has gained a godfather, has gained some of the love which he grew up without. Second, because of the Time Turner portion of the plot - seeing the many threads weave together - and double-stranded at that!!

Which is your favorite Harry Potter movie?
Oh, I do love them all - I love Chamber of Secrets because of really meeting Molly Prewitt Weasley and her whole family and her magnificent home. But I must say that Sorcerer’s Stone is truly my favorite movie if I had to be deserted on an island with only one of them - who can ever forget their first visual/visceral experience of Quidditch?

Who is your favorite Harry Potter character?
Harry. First and forever, the Boy Who Lived.

And to transition the love of
all things HP into the House Cup…

How did you become involved with the House Cup?
I had participated in the Reducio Sock tiny HP sock exchange - enjoyed it very much - when PrincessOnica hopped onto the discussion board to say that she was creating the House Cup to get us all psyched up for the movie 6 release. I stayed away from it because it was competition, and that’s very much not who I am, competition makes me all nervous. Then I realized it was only going to be three months, and full of HP fans being excited about the movie, and if I got in on the ground floor, I could experience the group from the start and perhaps not be overwhelmed.

What is your favorite part of the House Cup?
In the very beginning, there were House Common Room threads and class threads, but no Great Hall. There were assignments to show off and talk about, but there was the tiniest, tiniest hint of the bad side of competition, the side which had made me hesitate to join in the first place. Then some genius (was it PrincessOnica?) opened the Great Hall and specified that this was not a place to sit with your house.

All of a sudden, there was a huge, free flow of ideas, compliments, news, questions, conversation and friendship - overnight it went from a game-focused group to a group of friends who shared a game. And then there was the fateful day in the Great Hall when Pretywtch offered to spray glitter-spray-paint on Foxy’s tail and Foxy became my fully-formed alter-ego. Foxy very much helps me show a playful side of myself which I’ve been learning to express.

What made you volunteer to coach Quidditch?
In the Ravelympics, I was impressed by all the brilliant games - and the idea of a design/spin/craft team event got into my head. When I really started thinking about joining the House Cup, the idea for Quidditch as a vehicle for a team project started to gel. I asked Onica if I might work out a first draft, and she graciously agreed. She liked the format, agreed to give it a try, and I let go of it and in fact joined the Fall Ravenclaw Team as a player. Our Groundskeeper was keeping track of the game and the points (thank you, Hagrid!!!). Suddenly there was a need for a rules interpretation. Since the original rules had been written by me, Headmistress and Groundskeeper turned to me to make the ruling in order to keep the spirit of the game as originally intended. That’s when I realized that I should have stayed with my baby all along to be the coach, and I’ve enjoyed this position ever since.

This is your third term as coach. How do you come up with your ideas for the games each term?
The first term was inspired, as I said, by Ravelympics. The second term was designed to eliminate some of the elements which were difficult in the first term (too much reliance on postal service, way too much demand on the spinning-Beaters). During second term I discovered how much fun it was to involve everyone in the cheers and general merriment; that inspired the everyone-gets-to-participate portion of Third Term Quidditch.

And a little bit about you…

Do you knit, crochet, spin, or some combination of the three?
I love to spin, and do it as very much an uncoordinated beginner. I have learned two whole crochet stitches, including chain, thanks to the House Cup! I’ve been knitting since I was eight years old, which makes it 36 years now, and it’s my meditation and my “home”. When I move back into a knitting phase of my life, I know I’m comfortable where I am. When I’ve been moving around and just starting out and trying to fit into a non-Gazebo-shaped hole, at those times I’ve forgotten to knit and life is un-good.

What is your favorite type of item to craft?
Oh, dear. Pretty ones. Ones which I can give to my dear ones to keep them warm and safe from afar. Ones which make me feel beautiful when I wear them. Ones which I design and which let me know that I can create beauty, even in the depths of winter.

Last, but not least, what’s the story behind your Ravelry ID “GazeboGal”?
In role-playing gaming circles, there is an urban legend of a warrior player character who attacked a gazebo that was sitting on a town common. The gazebo just sat there. It was, after all, a gazebo. The character kept attacking (obviously the player had no clue what a gazebo was), until finally the game master, fed up with the player, said, “OK, you’ve annoyed the gazebo and it eats you.”

When I joined my first on line community (43 Things), I was trying to find inspiration to really write a full fantasy novel. I wanted a moniker which would be a chuckle to other long-time gamers (real, table top, role-playing gamers with no technology other than dice, pencils, and hex paper). I wanted to write great scenes of fantasy adventure, like the gazebo-attacking story. Hence, GazeboGal! Now I have worked out a whole family history for Selene Gazebo, Hogwarts third year student, and her familiar Foxy Girl. Lots of fun!

Thanks for your questions, I have very much enjoyed gabbing with the HPKCHC fans :)

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