My True to Life Half-Blood Prince

As you can gather from reading my blog, I love to write autobiographical stories and snippets from my daily life. One of the main reasons I love writing is that I’m able to share deep and vulnerable parts of myself with others. I always hope to be able to connect with someone else through my writing. Stories are powerful, they allow us to get a glimpse into another person’s life and feelings, and they are an amazing way to develop empathy for people different than we are.

While I know it’s true that you get better at writing the more that you practice writing, I’ve been wanting some more concrete ideas on how to improve as a writer. This led me to check out a book from the library by Tristine Rainer titled, Your Life as Story.

I’m about 8 chapters in, and have found the book to be extremely helpful in its tips and ideas on memoir writing. I’ve been furiously taking notes, trying to capture all the things I don’t want to forget. I knew that the book would be helpful for me to read, but I didn’t expect that even just a few chapters in, it would already change they way I think about writing.

Another surprise from the book was getting to know on a personal level a man named Robert J. Hall – the previous owner of this book before it was donated to the library. His name and address are scribbled on the inside of the front cover, and he has underlined, highlighted, and made notes all throughout the book. As I continue to read, I get more and more insights into this man’s life, and why he owned a copy of this book.

It reminded me of the 6th Harry Potter book, where Harry gets an old copy of an Advanced Potion-Making textbook, and finds it rife with notes and edits from a person who calls themself the “Half-Blood Prince.” Many of the potion recipes have been improved by this Half-Blood Prince, and Harry finds himself doing exceedingly well in his Potions class due to the hints and clues left by the textbook’s previous owner.

I was excited to discover that I basically have my own version of a half-blood prince in my library book. (I’m a big Harry Potter fan! Shout out to my fellow Ravenclaws!) While not nearly as cryptic as the original half-blood prince, I do find myself getting more and more interested in the story behind Robert J. Hall.

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