Wednesday, February 26, 2014

House Pride!

My friends on Facebook were talking about Harry Potter-themed clothes and it made me want to go buy a shirt to show off my house pride. So I did.

Any time I've taken any kind of Sorting quiz, I get Ravenclaw. It's pretty obvious why, I think, but I've noticed that a lot of people have a LOT invested in their idea of what Hogwarts house they'd be in, and I don't think another house besides Ravenclaw would fit me. The fans of Harry Potter have explored the mythology of the houses extensively, and come up with all kinds of ideas about the houses that weren't specifically discussed in the books, and now it's kind of taken on a culture of its own.

I was thinking about how aspects of books sometimes resonate with people in unexpected ways, and the Hogwarts houses have definitely been one of those pieces of recent mythology that have made their way into our culture. You'll find people passionately defining and philosophizing on their houses, defending Slytherin with "they're not all evil, they're ambitious!" mantras, analyzing fictional characters or celebrities and putting them in houses, and even making entertainment recommendations based on what house you identify with. (Check out this awesome post on queer lit that does that!)

I've noticed people really enjoy being "sorted," so to speak; they like seeing themselves analyzed, and they like seeing their traits put into a perspective that lets them celebrate it and fasten themselves to an identity. People do similar things with Myers-Briggs types, or left-brained vs. right-brained, or Zodiac signs; it doesn't surprise me that elements of fiction are similarly fascinating to readers. There's a part in one of my books--Bad Fairy--that makes me wonder if readers will react to it with a similar type of connection.The fairy characters get to undertake a unit of elemental studies in their magick classes, so they devote a week each to explore Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. And in doing so, they change their entire lifestyle--they eat differently, dress differently, act differently. If my book were to become really well-known and popular, I wonder how many people would execute their own Elemental Weeks?

So I wrote an elemental quiz you can take. It's on my author website. It's a pretty in-depth quiz designed to "sort" you according to element, and has detailed personality profiles in the results. And I used an avatar maker to illustrate the results pages with images that are pretty close to what my protagonist might have been wearing during those exercises.

Air: If you're Air, you value the intellectual, the mental, and the logical.  You love the big picture—the concept, the philosophy, the idea—more than you love the details.

While celebrating Air, the characters wear light-colored, roomy clothes and feather jewelry, eat light and airy foods, and focus on intellectual or scholarly pursuits. My character spends a lot of time reading and researching with the windows open, and climbing in the trees.
Fire: If you're Fire, you value the passionate, the exciting, and the intense.  You love the juice of life—the experience of it—more than you value accomplishments or possessions.

While celebrating Fire, the characters wear loud and daring clothes and flashy jewelry, eat spicy and flame-cooked foods, and focus on change and energy. My character spends a lot of time getting into mischief, following her impulses, and getting into fights.
Water: If you're Water, you value compassion, caring, and deep feeling.  Your heart is your guide in everything you do, and you are very tuned in to other people’s experiences.

While celebrating Water, the characters wear flowing layers and seashell jewelry, eat soups and liquid foods, and focus on introspection and emotion. My character spends a lot of time perfecting future-telling techniques and going with the flow.
Earth: If you're Earth, you value practicality, common sense, and patience.  You have realistic expectations for your life, and prefer the tried and true to the up and coming.

While celebrating Earth, the characters wear heavy, practical clothing and flower jewelry, eat solid and grain-based foods, and focus on domestic duties and practical applications. My character spends a lot of time gardening and taking a realistic look at her options.

So what element are you guys? I doubt it's any surprise to anyone that I always get Air.

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