Stop and Smell the Roses – by Jessica Kilmer

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Today was so much more than seeing a few places where J.K. Rowling wrote the some of her earlier books in the Harry Potter series. Today made me realize that sometimes all I need to do is take a step back from the world around me and take a moment to just breathe. Inspiration is around us everyday, but the fast pace of our lives can blind us from the beauty of the world.

J.K. Rowling came up with the idea of Harry Potter during a four-hour train delay from Manchester to London. She didn’t have a working pen with her, so she just sat there quietly as ideas circled around in her head. That night she began writing the first book of the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which is also known as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in some countries. Sometimes all you need is a few hours to just sit back and let your mind wonder!

We visited a few places where J.K. Rowling enjoyed writing, such as The Elephant House, Spoon Café and Nicolson’s Café (now named Greyfriars Bobby). Hogwarts was actually inspired by Edinburgh Castle, which she could see from the windows in the Elephant House. We also walked around Greyfriars Kirkard, which inspired a few names for the Harry Potter series. We even found the tombstone of Thomas Riddell (Tom Riddle AKA Voldemort) today!

It’s amazing to think that places that we have walked by a dozen times in Edinburgh inspired the incredible story of Harry Potter. Inspiration may be around every corner, so I need to remember to take a step back and appreciate the little things.

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