Of late I realized once again that I have a very interesting life, despite its setbacks, and that I have only done one Pensieve (which, of all things, was about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince). Here's another, although it's not quite about the Boy Who Lived - well, not the one most Potterheads would think of, anyway.
In June of 2009, my immediate family and I ventured to the land - and waters - of Florida. This was not my first time, which was indeed mere weeks before the events of the first Pensieve. It was as great a place to relax as I remembered it from 2005: we stayed at a Hyatt Beach House, which was a quiet retreat with nice rooms and screened-in porches. This time I wrote what I called my first novel in a matter of days on my dad's laptop, as I would not receive my own for another few months. It was a perfectly atrocious story (and a little over 7,000 words filling forty-one pages - I still called it a novel because I didn't pay attention to its size and I was also too excited that I had finished something "sizable" for once) - atrocious because the characters were mere lifeless pawns (something with which I still struggle) and the whole story was a shameless ripoff of Paolini's Eragon, which is in turn a story stolen from Star Wars (which, my friend Ezra argues, is yet another ripoff of Lord of the Rings - I still need to find out why this is). Even so, I was proud of my blue-dragon story and still am, not because it was any good, but because I was on my way to being better. Which, I suppose, many of us are.
The Hyatt Beach House had a small enclosed beach - not one of those crowded stretches of sand with seven quadrillion tourists and obnoxiously-colored umbrellas and towels everywhere, but a small area with a tiny pier and a rocky wade-in waterline. There was still the giant cracked ball I remembered from when I was ten years old, covered in coastal sea-plants and invertebrates, and young barracudas, which would swim up to greet us. I am not afraid of barracudas, or most sharks for that matter, because if they have nothing to fear, then what have I? Caroline, my sister, said she was followed around by a six-foot barracuda; I wish I had seen it, but the juveniles were beautiful in their own way. They were light brown with stripes, as opposed to the more mature silver bodies. The water was perhaps ten or twenty feet deep by the pier's end, and I would take a gulp of air and plunge down to view more intimately the sea stars and urchins and sand dollars on the ocean's sandy floor. I think I need another vacation there; relaxation would do me a lot of good these days.