Saturday, July 24, 2010

Twilight and Why I've Converted

On June 30th, fellow Scribe, Leslie Ann Sartor, aka L.A. posted a blog about the The Twilight Saga--Phenomena: One Person's POV.

In this blog, she talked about how she stood in line with friends for hours to see the third movie's (Eclipse) premier. I didn't get it then, and quite frankly, I'd never read the books or seen the movie. Further the tabloid picture of Edward gave me the creeps.

On a recent trip to Seattle to visit my daughter, however, I changed -- rather she changed my mind. She made me sit down and watch the first two movies, Twilight and New Moon, and while I thought they were a tad slow in parts and loaded with teenage angst, I have to admit I finally saw what the fuss was about. (What's more, Edward Cullen (Australian actor Robert Pattinson) may be creepy -- he is after all a vampire -- but I have to admit he's sexy as hell. (To Annie, my PPRW chaptermate, you were right and I was so wrong.) Okay, Annie, who has her PhD in All-Things Twilight informed me that Robert Pattinson is from the U.K. Her response is hysterical, if you have a moment, check it out;).

I also have to mention that Stephanie Meyer is a genius, and although her books have gotten less than stellar reviews by some, I hope she's laughing all the way to the bank. She's making a lot of readers and movie fans happy, and in addition, she's even supporting an economy. (Heck, I imagine the people in Forks, Washington would vote Meyer their mayor.)

While I was in Washington state, where we had a fabulous time by the way, my husband and I traveled up the Northwest coast. I've posted some pictures here, and I hope they do justice as to why Meyer must have chose this particular setting.

Imagine the look on my husband's face when I saw Forks on the map and insisted we stay there. He didn't quite get why I wanted to stay in that particular spot until I explained that Forks, Washington is the setting Meyer chose for her books. Fortunately, my husband's a sweetie, he was on vacation and he agreed.

Soon we were checking into a hotel in a population of 3,000, where we got the very last hotel room in the entire town. I walked around that night and I talked to people. There was one store devoted entirely to Twilight, but unfortunately it was closed. When asked about the impact Twilight had on the town, one lady said, "You have no idea," while another man said, "Last year, we had 16,000 come through this town; this year we've had 68,000."

Impressive? I thought so. As writers we never know how many our stories will touch. Twilight has touched millions and even helped a dying town through a rough economy. Forks isn't the only locale that got in on the action. When we crossed the county line, we ran upon a sign. Note what it says: "Treaty Line. Farther up the highway another sign read: No vampires beyond this point."

When I returned home, my critique buddies and I went to see Eclipse. I missed the captions my daughter had on her HD screen, but it was so cool to have seen the first two and to be able to follow the plot. In my opinion, Eclipse is the best one so far.

All right, I admit it. It's so easy to criticize or poo-poo what you don't understand. Thanks to everyone who made me a believer. I now get what the big deal's about. As for becoming a Twilight fan, I've been converted.


Gillian Layne said...

Oh, I am SO glad you love them! Now have you read the books yet? You should, when you find the time. I also think Meyer is a genius and I was highly irritated with S. King and all his insults. To each his own; millions of teens are reading now, and that's what counts.

I am team Edward all the way, as I still see Jacob as the little kid in Sharkboy and Lava Girl, but my very favorite character is Charlie.

Donnell said...

Charlie, is the police chief, right? I love the cast of school mates, and the other vampires. Wow, whoever did casting did an amazing job.

Thanks, Gillian. And I will read the books when I have time!

LizeeS said...

Hi Donnell,
Great post. I'm not a Twilight Fanatic, but I have read the first two books and seen the first two movies and I loved them. I'd like to smack Bella to the moon sometimes, but, hey, that's teenage angst for you. I'm a team Edward girl too -- and seeing Robert Pattinson as Not-Edward totally makes up for any creepiness the make-up causes. It also makes me more than a cougar considering my age, but tough. I'm planning to read Eclipse next and then see the movie. It's been fun to compare them that way so far. Thanks for a fun blog -- see you next week in Orlando!

Donnell said...

Thank, Liz. LOL on the cougar comment. Me too! I have a son supposedly older than Edward. However, I think we're save, he's really more than 200 years old, right? See you next week.

Donnell said...

Er... That's safe. Now I'm really off to pack ;)

Leslie Ann said...

Oh Donnell,
You made my day. Not just that you actually took the time to understand the hoopla, but that you could and DID change your mind.

You are my hero.

I've had tons of people ask me about the T-shirts I designed, so this weekend I will post a pix of them (and of course the link if you HAVE TO HAVE one.)


Leslie Ann said...

I'm with you on Bella, but I did enjoy the books, they are a fast read.

When my 20 something friends and I talk about them, we have to go check the facts b/c they are a fast read and sometimes we forget parts, altho' I'm sure there are people who know every detail, just like the "Trekkies" do.

I'd love to have that kind of fan base.


Donnell said...

Thank YOU, LA!!! And please post that link. I know several 20 something women in Seattle I can send them too ;)

Mary Marvella said...

Twilight had me from page 1. My CPs are devotees. I like her writing but have so many other things I need to read.

Mary Marvella said...

Twilight had me from page 1. My CPs are devotees. I like her writing but have so many other things I need to read.

Michelle said...

Sounds like a great trip, Donnell! Annie will be thrilled. I can't wait to cheer you on next week!

Donnell said...

Thanks, Michelle, for stopping by. See you in a couple of days now (gulp), where I will indeed eat lots of crow in front of Annie ;)

Joelle Charbonneau said...

I have to admit being one that hasn't read the books or seen the movie. I use my toddler as the excuse - who has time to write, read and run after a 2 1/2 year old. When he goes to kindergarden, I promise I'll catch up with the rest of the world. Until then, I'll just admire your fabulous pictures!

Donnell said...

A toddler is a grand excuse. Don't know that he would sit through Twilight. However, at 2 and a half, he is reading now ;))))))))

MaryC said...

I really enjoyed reading about your conversion, Donnell. I remember a few years ago picking up Twilight in the bookstore to see what all the fuss was about. I scanned the first few pages and understood why people liked it; it's very readable. I had no wish to get caught up in it so I made myself stop and didn't buy it. ;)

Fast forward to this past winter. So many of my students were gaga over the series and they kept begging me to read it. When one went so far as to loan me her copy, I felt like I needed to read it for them. I ended up totally enjoying Twilight and moved on to New Moon (which I liked even better). I started Eclipse but I think I was on overload at that point so I put it aside.

One of my students has been emailing me over the summer asking if I started Eclipse again so I promised that I would.

Last Friday I had to have minor surgery but for some reason I couldn't settle down afterwards (after effects of the anesthesia, I assume). So I picked up Eclipse again. I have to give Stephenie Meyer full credit - other than Solitare, Eclipse was the only thing that could hold my attention.

I also have to agree with Gillian. So many kids are reading because they loved this series. Kudos to S. Meyer for that.

Donnell said...

Mary, who can top your story? Yes, Gillian pegged it--millions are reading. Thank you for sharing how much your students (and you) get out of Stephanie Meyer's books, and best wishes on your full recovery.

Lana said...

Welcome to the Twilight side, Donnell! :) Ms. Meyers certainly got all that lovely longing right! See you in a few days in Orlando!

Annie said...

Wah hoooo! I was afraid to read your post because I thought you'd be hatin' on my love. But I heard a buzz that you'd come away from the dark side so I had to check this out! But you aren't even having real butterflies yet until you read the Midnight Sun pages Stephenie M has on her website. 300 pages from Edward's POV. It's not even published (shame) and it's the BEST.

And then, only then, will I buy you a TWI t-shirt (mostly because after you read those pages you will wear it with pride).

Stop rolling your eyes and muttering how you don't wear t-shirts! I can hear you from over here. Is it going to take you two more years to follow this good advice? If anything read it as a 'strong male character study'. Feed your inner writer...fall in love on accident. Midnight Sun. Stephenie Meyer's website. FREE.

xo Annie (thanks for sayin' my name on your blog) xo p.s. Rob--he's from the UK, but there is a new hottie in Eclipse that's AU born--toothy and hot to be sure. S''re a 'new vampire lover''s a confusing place...

Donnell said...

Ah, never, Annie. Hey, thanks for the correction on Robert Pattinson (omgosh, you get to call him Rob ??;))) I will indeed, as soon as I get back from National, set aside to look at Meyer's website. Thanks for the heads up. A-n-d, I might wear the T-shirt. If Stephanie Meyer can help the economy, I can too ;)

Just like the Treaty Line in the picture Annie, I'm ready to form a truce!

Hugs and see you at National!