Friday, November 4, 2011


Otherwise known as the Harry Potter Automatic News Aggregator

I'm not sure if I am mourning, or waiting for a resurrection, but a website that literally changed my life, seems to at the very least have lapsed into a coma. It's not there. It isn't clear whether it might return or not.

So I'm going to tell you its amazing tale, or rather, the amazing way it changed my life.

In 2005, while eagerly waiting for Half Blood Prince to come out, I came up with a couple theories about what might come next. See... I'd read the first five books several times... alone, and with each child... and then all those AGAIN as Order of the Phoenix came out... (so six times...) In fact I think I was started on a seventh run with my son...

So these ideas kept flying around... you know... those MIRRORS... the matched set... that one of them broke when Harry found the package and was so mad at himself he hadn't used it...

Well... I think I thought Sirius had taken the other with him through the veil... or something. And it was bugging me enough that I ventured out to find someone to TALK TO about it.

Now there were a bunch of websites with Harry Potter stuff, but THAT one was more user friendly to get onto, and FAR easier to find conversations than the sites that have a lot more stuff going on (HPANA had a news page, but is completely member generated stuff otherwise)

Anyway, when I started browsing topics, one really struck me as having the most potential... The Wizard War... it was anticipating... you know... the WAR that was started, whether Fudge wanted to admit it or not.

Joris, of book cover fame, and I on the London Eye 2008
And THERE, I made lifetime friends. Seriously. MANY. We had some courtesy rules... greeting new people. No name calling... politeness in arguing. Honestly, it was mostly a bunch of teenage boys and middle age women. But the conversations were FABULOUS. There were deep, thought out theories. There were a ton of laughs. There was even delusional Thursday (my own baby) where we tried to use canon to support joke theories (thus things like cross-dressing death eaters)

I've had the honor of MEETING several in person... JelE (NY, yes, I know someone named Jel E. Bean), Stacy (TX, twice), Holly (DC), Holly (MO) (yes, two Hollys), Courtney (PA), Colette (IL, twice), BrioNI (AUST), Andrea (AUST), Bill (PA), Leanne (MA), Mari (NORW, twice), Jessica (UT), Tara (WALES), Joris (Netherlands), Sarah (DC), Marissa (FL), Sally (FL)... I'm lucky work sends me places, and most places I go, someone I want to meet up with is near. Colette is the only one within driving distance, though both BrioNI and Mari came to visit me HERE (from Australia and Norway, respectively—man, I want so bad to return the favor!) (WW friends in RED, writing friends in blue—purple is both--Marissa's purple is more red than the others because she doesn't believe me yet, that she needs to write, but she does and Tara's blue is a little less blue because she occasionally dropped in on the WW) but I digress (see, the site even changed my religion. I didn't KNOW about Digressionism until I met Mari!)

And lo and behold... several of these theories in... was the formation of a bigger idea that encompassed several of these, and I wrote my first long work of fiction—about 180 pages, completed in six months... a writer was born.

I tried a few styles. I made more friends, several of them OTHER writers... in fact that WRITING set, was the origins of the Burrow.

It was where first my Thursday Twin, Natasha, then my Spazdik friend Stacy said not only 'I love your writing' but, 'you need to write real books'.

I've been a bad HPANA member of late. I've been too deeply immersed in all the other things I do. But I will be so sad if HPANA is gone for good. It's like the burning down of a family home. I still am in touch with the vast majority of the friends I made there—facebook is great that way. But really... I just feel sad.

In its heyday it was easily supported by advertisements. Members could donate. I only did a couple times because you KNOW how my money situation is. I think with dropping participation and REALLY dropped ad revenue, Cheeser just couldn't keep up.

So anyway... even though I don't know if it's a Rest in Peace, or a 'Get Well Soon', I am feeling pretty sad about it.

I love you HPANA! You really DID change my life!

And so you know. I've got a computer-free obligation that may very well take all day. I'm sorry I can't get around to visit and it may be late before I can respond. Believe me. I'd rather be here.

This just in:  Jeff (Cheeser) came across this this morning and thanked me and updated me. If the site can come up with the money it owes (about $2400) it will go back up. In case anyone sees who loves the place.  I don't know how to get to the donation spot at the moment, but if you are able, you can reach Jeff at

AND:  The Paypal Link (thanks, Tara!)


Amber T. Smith said...

Just giving you the link for the PayPal account where donations can be sent -

I know - it's a HUGE link...

I feel much the same as you, Tami, but you already know that. :(

Ciara said...

This sounds like such a great group! I'm so happy you met so many great people during your writing journey.

Old Kitty said...

Hope your most NAKED site will be up and running soon!!

Take care

LynnRush said...

Wow. You've met a lot of people.
I was on the London Eye a couple of years ago. Amazing experience.

Boy you get to travel a lot. I'm not sure how I'd do with that---luckily my job is only .6 miles from my home and I can ride my bike.

That settles with me much better than getting on a plane very often. LOL

Krista McLaughlin said...

That's really cool that you met so many people that way and sad that the site is gone. But at least you have some great memories! :)

Matthew MacNish said...

That sounds like so much fun.

mezzo_sasha said...

We became pals through HPANA too, *hugs* I remember all the fun we had discussing things (off-topic and on) on your threads. I've also been a bad HPANAer and blog reader as of late. Tell your work they need to send you to SF!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hope your favorite Potter site stays open!

Stacy Gail said...

Oh, no.

I've been such a bad HPANA-er, I haven't been on in about a year. I didn't even know it was missing. *hangs head*

I'll try and get the word out from my end too, and THANK YOU for Cheeser's donation link, Tam.

HPANA literally changed my life. I don't want it to fade away.

Helena said...

I envy you your many friends. But seriously, how many times have you read the Harry Potter books? Wow.

Shaharizan Perez said...

Blogger just ate my post. Darn it!

HPANA is where I met my fellow Burrowers. It's where I also began to write thanks to their encouragement.

Tara, I got an error message when I copied and pasted the link. Is there another link?

Stacy Gail said...

Eep, sorry Tara! *hugs* You were the one who posted the link, not Tami. I've tried to get it to work, but so far no dice. Have you been able to get it to work?

Hart Johnson said...

Tara! Thank you so much for the Paypal link!

And thank you EVERYONE for condolences. I just got done with some personal business, but it looks like my buddies are spreading the word. Hopefully it will help!

*huggles and glomps all around*

Jo Schaffer said...

Awesome! (=

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I'm sure you are not the first to second-guess J.K. Rowling. My friend thought that she'd kill Harry in the last book in order to stop anyone from begging for a sequel.

Hart Johnson said...

Thank you, Jo!

Michael-I'd never second guess Jo! One of the challenges was NEVER to write anything inconsistent with the canon--it was all intended to enrich the world...

Enid Wilson said...

Yes, there are some great online communities. Unfortunately when the admins got too busy with their real life, the communities could go into hibernation. Hope HPANA will be up again for you.

My Darcy Vibrates…

Unknown said...

I miss HPANA so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I might donate with every check I get!

Kiki Flint

Unknown said...

I really miss HPANA. I might have to donate with every check I get! I remember some good times. Like the Death Eater's Covnant...Was made after a post I had submitted in 2005.

Kiki Flint