Earlier this week I was in York for the day (that’s a city in the North of England) and we began our exploration with a little shop on the street, The Shambles called ‘The Shop That Must Not Be Named’.
As you may be able to guess, the shop sells merchandise related to the world of Harry Potter created by J.K. Rowling. From being greeted by ‘Luna’, who was wearing a pair of ‘spectrespecs’, at the doorway to ‘Professor Umbridge’ who stomped around stocking the shop and huffing loudly, the staff were very impressive and they were dressed to perfection. Plus, coincidentally, we were there on the 31st July, the day of Harry Potter’s birthday and there was a very nice sign in the front window wishing The Boy Who Lived happy birthday.
There was something for every Hogwarts House as well as wands, chocolate frogs and the sword of Gryffindor (it was very shiny). Personally, I am very happy with my new hufflepuff scarf and the little packet of ‘Gillyweed’ that I was given at the counter was a quirky end to the experience.
There’s something very special about being able to buy merchandise that began with a fantastic book series. ‘The Shop That Must Not Be Named’ might not be very big but they have a great range of stock.
In other news, at the weekend my friend suggested a writing relay and I’ve already written a small section for it. Basically, the idea is that one person writes a part of a story and then the next person has to carry on the story from where it stopped. As a group we wanted to get started as soon as possible so, we used a writing prompt generator and the result was definitely unusual. We were up to the challenge.
Within approximately an hour and a half, we had a page of writing with six characters and three potential plotlines. We decided to work on 100-500 words each before passing it on to the next person and I really enjoyed writing my part. There was no real pressure because we were writing for fun and it was good practise to write such a short piece before passing it on to see what the next person would do with it.
I really hope that we continue with the story that we’ve begun. It’s nice to have a direct conversation about what we’re writing because it’s not always a common experience for a writer, especially when it involves short, focused sections of work.
Plus, writing with my friends kick-started my own thoughts about a beginning for an idea I had a while ago so I’m hopeful that it’ll become a good story if I continue to be inspired.