As with anything, I always recommend beginning at the beginning. However, in case you don't want to peruse my entries from the beginning (& hey, it's your loss), here's a quickie for you.

I basically like Twilight. I appreciate it for what it is, and recognize it's shortcomings. If you're a crazed Twi-fanatic, consider yourself warned.

Kristen Stewart is on my shortlist of favorite actors, and Robert Pattinson is not only gorgeous, he's talented too.

The cast in general blows my mind. Not for their acting skills (which are super sweet), but the fact that they are all so normal seeming. And they get along. No cat fights, no set drama. I'd love to see a remake of The Breakfast club with this cast, where they act as themselves. someone make that happen k thanks.

Stephenie Meyer, as a stay-at-home mom of multiple kids, wrote a book. She's kinda my hero. I want to do what she's done.

All opinions and thoughts are welcome here, so please feel free to speak your mind. :)

PS-I tend to go off on tangents like no one's business, and occasionally stray from what I really wanted to say. I'm also too impatient to go back and re-read what I've written to make sure it sounds right. I apologize for any ramblings, incoherence, and other minor transgressions I might make.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Stehenie Meyer-Enabler

Reading Stephenie Meyer's story was so inspiring to me. When I finished reading the series through the second time, I couldn't wait to sit down and write my own story. But that was going to have to wait a little while longer, because that's when I found the extra chapters, story lines, and my favorite; Midnight Sun.

First of all, let me say, I cannot imagine what I would do in her situation. If someone leaked the first twelve chapters of something I was writing, I would be crushed. Absolutely crushed. And I don't think I could finish it either. I sincerely hope Mrs. Meyer does decide to let us read her finished work, but I would be the most understanding fan out there if she left us with only the first twelve chapters. I have no doubt that she'll write the rest for herself, as she's stated in various interviews. But to have to deal with that, to put yourself out there like that and have that trust violated...what a horrible thing to deal with in the usually hyper-happy world of Twilight fandom she's created. And I do think that she has created the fans, not vice versa. By being unbelievably generous, she has made the world's most faithful fan group. We wanted more, and she gave us more....so, so much more that we could even imagine.

Speaking of Twilight fandom...People around the world have noticed that Twilight fans are...different. Twilighters, as they (or "we" I suppose I should say, since I'm as addicted as anyone) have been nicknamed, are so hungry for any slight detail of anything having to do with, well, anything! Things that are on the outskirts of the Twilight world, the movie, the actors, the set, we want to know. An extra on the set got a papercut? We'll be reading about it on the Twilight Lexicon during one of our thrice daily checks of the sight. A new interview is posted on MTV.com? Within twenty minutes there will be over a hundred comments on it.

As I said before, I think a huge reason Twilighters are so obsessive is Stephenie Meyer. She is our enabler, and I for one, am thrilled with her role. Let me try to explain how it works for me. Any time I read a book I don't want it to end. I love to read series of books, because there is more detail, more back story, and the end starts off being a few books away. I always wonder about the things that happen in the book-world that don't get written about. Personal details of the characters, storied that are only hinted at in the main plot, inconsequential details that no sane editor would let get published...yet I'm dying to know it all, as all Twilighters are.

Stephenie Meyer gives us all. After reading the series, she gives us insights into her characters through interviews that were beyond my wildest hopes. All the little details that aren't vital to the actual story, all the little details that take the characters out of the book and weave them into the fabric of our lives....she fed them to us with as much love and passion as we ate them up with.

She gave us edited out chapters, something I've longed for from my favorite authors for years. Those chapters tell us so much about the characters we love, and help us understand the published books that much more. They not only give us even more depth into our beloved Cullens, but into Stephenie herself. So many personal details, lovingly written, just waiting there for Twilighters to read.

And then there is Midnight Sun. I'm almost scared to say anything about it for fear of waking up and realizing I dreamed it. That an author would even attempt to tackle the huge task of retelling a story that is set in stone from the view of another leading character is a fairly intimadating thing. But do it as well as she did...it really is a dream come true. In my opinion, she is more in tune with Edward's perspective than Bella's. Her love for him is evident in every well-written line, to parallel Bella's view. It's pretty miraculous if you ask me.

Unfortunately, the same fanaticism that has drawn people around the world to become Twilighters led one to share something that wasn't theirs for the sharing. Again, I cannot imagine the personal anguish that must follow a breach of trust that enormous. And how much sleep, I wonder, did Stephenie Meyer lose trying to decide what to do about the situation. I believe it's a sign of the love she returns to her fans that she posted it on her own site to keep us from having to read the illegal version. How many authors would even consider releasing it the way she did? Once again, Mrs. Meyer, you have my undying thanks.

There is a certain strangeness though, in being able to experience the complete satisfaction that one takes from knowing so much about a favorite story. Always before I've been left wanting to know more...with the possible exception of Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series. That man could squeeze details out of thin air, and shared every last one with his fans. I shudder to imagine an unedited version of any of his books. Anyways, I feel nothing of that sense of longing for more from the Twilight series. With, of course, the exception of the last half of Midnight Sun, which I dare to hope I will read one day. But the sense of satisfaction I have is more complete still than it ever has been. Mrs. Meyer answered questions I wasn't even aware I wanted to ask. The questions that usually come years later, after finishing a book the fifteenth time, those have all been answered. And not only answered, but described in such detail that even the most introspective fan must be satisfied.

In feeding our mania, Stephenie Meyer cements her fans even more closely to her world. She gives us what so many crave from authors, going above and beyond what any has given before. And in return, Twilighter's give her their complete devotion.

...to be continued...

Friday, September 26, 2008


Google is my favorite web page, hands down. I am one of those people who Googles EVERYTHING, about five times a day. Anything that I hear about, or read about, if I don't know what it is, or if I feel like I need more details, then I'll Google it.

I had no idea what was going to happen when I Googled "Twilight".

An entire world of fansites, information about the movie, cast interviews, hate-sites, and more was opened to my wide eyes. I was a little overwhelmed, (okay, a LOT overwhelmed), but I knew that one of the first things I was interested in was the author, Stephenie Meyer.

With very little effort, I was directed to her homepage, www.stepheniemeyer.com. I scrolled through a few entries on the page about the movie, some interviews she'd be doing, and links to find out more about all things "Twilight".

If one thing is certain, it's that there is no lack of information about anything relating to "Twilight".

After reading her Bio page, I just sat back from my computer. This woman is my new hero. I mean, she is just so amazing to me! She wrote the first book with two of her three children still nipping at her ankles. Well, practically; anyone who has a couple of small ones underfoot will appreciate how incredible it is that she was a mom/housewife/author.

I've always wanted to be an author, since my first journal entry in Kindergarten. Well, with the exception of the very brief time I decided I wanted to be an artist, a teacher, and a zoologist...simultaneously. High hopes, yes? When I got older and was exposed to creative writing classes I felt even more like writing a book was the only thing for me to do. But I also felt very lazy, and so I put it off for a long time. (For the full story check out my other blog, www.thoughtwithoutmeasure.blogspot.com. It's too long to put in this one too). And writing is not an easy thing for me. People assume that because you're good at something and you want to do something, it should be as easy as getting up and eating ice cream for breakfast everyday, and as satisfying too. This is not the case. Not for me at least. Writing has always been extremely personal, and extremely emotional for me. It takes a lot out of me, and puts a lot back.

By the time I'd finally decided it was time to get on with things, I was getting ready to have my first child, who was followed shortly by my second. Most days I'm excited if I can brush my teeth before bedtime, and free time is pretty much nonexistant. So I was thinking that bringing something as huge as a book onto my plate was pretty ludacris.

Except it's not. Stephenie Meyer did it, and she did it well. She is truly an inspiration to me in so many ways. Not only has she shown me that I can write a book while living in the war zone that is a house with two small children, she has restored my faith in myself. So thanks Mrs. Meyer, I think you're pretty freaking amazing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How Twilight Swallowed Me Whole

Up until two weeks ago, I was completely oblivious to anything having to do with Stephenie Meyer, Twilight, or the mania that follows both. Well, to be honest, I wasn't completely oblivious...I rented "Penelope" about a month ago, and I watched the trailer speed by in fast forward as I hurried to watch the movie. As the mother of a two year old and a nine month old, I have no time for anything extra most days, and that includes movie trailers. Once I got to the main feature, I thought nothing else of it.

Until I went to the store to look for some new books...

I was wandering very slowly down the book aisle, just skimming the covers, mostly just enjoying the fact that I an hour free from dealing with my adorable little monsters, when a set of novels stood out to me. I stopped to look closer, and I saw for the first time the Twilight series; complete, side by side, and strangely compelling.

It's not a strange thing for a book to compel me. I'm an avid reader, usually choosing to spend any spare moment I have with a book in hand. All books are compelling to me; the chance to lose myself in another world is something I cannot pass up. Reading is my favorite form of escapism. Book series are a personal favorite of mine, simply because I do not want to story to end. Ever.

What made these books different, what made the compulsion strange, was their location on the book shelf. They were in the Young Adult section, a place I'd moved on from years before I myself was a young adult. A section I'd ignored entirely, with the sole exception of the "Harry Potter" books, since my days of required high school reading.

I stopped to look closer at them, to try and decipher what it was that made me want to pick one up and scan the jacket. It was, of course, the covers; the different red and white objects in stark relief to the otherwise solid black covers. And the simple, evocative titles. The word twilight alone conjures up all sorts of wonderful, escapist fantasies. It's a word that at once evokes the promise of romance, mystery, drama, and wonder; all things that make up my favorite kind of book.

I stood there for another moment, indecisive, and then picked up the first one for a closer look. The two white hands holding the red apple, a seeming reference to the garden encounter with the forbidden fruit, told me that there was a delicious sin somewhere in the pages beneath them. I thought for a second if there were any sins worth reading about that could still be qualified as "Young Adult". But I couldn't resist opening it to read the front and back jacket, and the opening quotation. Seeing that it was a reference from the book of Genesis only confirmed the good and evil theory, but gave me no reference to its nature. I scanned the chapter names, which all seemed fairly harmless, and decided that since I already had it open and in my hands, it couldn't hurt to read the preface.

I suppose the difference in a young adult and an older adult is showcased in my reaction. The words of "hunter" and "death" are all well and good, but I've read many, many books that have dealt with both, some great and some not so much. The word that decided me was the name of the town.


Forks? Really? I laughed out loud and then look around to make sure no one was watching me. Confirming my solitude, I laughed again. How could anything interesting happen in a town named Forks? How could death and hunters and immanent doom befall anyone or anything in a place that instantly brought to mind other pieces of silverware?

(I have to state here that my reaction is strongly based in my personality. While I appreciate that a fork in the road could foreshadow a big decision or a turning point in a great tale, that was not the first thing on my mind. Eating is one of my top five favorite past times. It's right up there with a great book on my personal enjoyment scale. Seriously.)

After another quickly stifled giggle I finished the preface and read the first page. The town of Forks was quickly described as a place that I could see as the setting of a wonderful story, so I closed the book before I could read anymore and decide I didn't like it.

That day I bought both "Twilight" and "New Moon", because I figured if I like the first one then I wouldn't want to wait til I got another free hour to go out and get the second. And, if I didn't like the first, well...no harm, I could just take them to my local thrift store in the hopes that someone else could enjoy them.

I stayed up that night, well morning actually, since it was 3:30 am, just to finish "Twilight".

Needless to say I wasn't about to take those books to anyone else. I was hooked. I was becoming a Twilighter.

Over the next three days, I begged my husband to get the other two books for me on his way home from work, and I finished all four of them. This may not sound quite as amazing to you as does to me, because you're forgetting that I have two small children who take up all of my time from six thirty in the morning until eight thirty at night, and various hours of the night depending on when the baby wakes up to nurse.

I was like a woman possessed. Or obsessed. I literally did not sleep that weekend for more than three hours a night. All day long I would think about Bella and Edward, and their plight, and I would wonder what was next. I found myself cutting bath time five minutes short-just to be five minutes closer to finishing the story of Jasper fighting newborn vampires, and finding Alice. I woke up wondering whether Jake would ever taste requited love, and if I would ever be able to completely love him again the way I did when he was a harmless school boy, not a shapechanging string around Bella's heart. I could not pull myself away from the world of Forks, and it's pale-skinned inhabitants.

When I finished "Breaking Dawn", at 2:00 am no less, I couldn't shut the book. I wasn't ready to say goodbye to the Cullen family and the world I'd shared with them over the last few days. I decided I should re-read the last few chapter again just to be sure I hadn't skipped something vital. When I'm reading something particularly addicting, I'm torn between taking it all in as quickly as possible, and dragging it out to make it last. Sometimes in my haste to get to the end of the story I don't quite take in every detail that I possibly could.

So I read the last few chapters of "Breaking Dawn" that night. Still wrapped up in the world of Forks, I went to bed telling myself I'd get online the next day and see what else I could read to prolong the magic. I was hopeful that there would be a few interviews with Stephenie Meyer that would maybe satisfy my blood-lust, (haha, terrible pun, I know), for the Twilight world.

Boy was I surprised by the world of fanaticism I stumbled into.