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I stayed up most of last night reading Midnight Sun. Also, I wish extreme discomfort upon whoever leaked it. March 9, 2009

Posted by Jordan in Twilight.
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9 comments

Why did the evil, moronic, despicable person who saw fit to leak Stephenie Meyer’s half-finished draft of Midnight Sun onto the internet have to be evil, moronic, and despicable enough to leak Stephenie Meyer’s half-finished draft of Midnight Sun onto the internet??

WHY?

I’m sure that I part company with approximately zero fellow Twilighters on this point, so it’s not like I’m expounding upon a revolutionary point of view or anything, BUT STILL. ARGH.

I really sat down with it last night, and it was, unsurprisingly, completely engrossing. I ended up staying up for a good amount of the night reading most of it and will probably finish it later tonight. It was jarring and refreshing to hear Edward’s inner monologue, instead of Bella’s. I also loved how amazed he is when he considers how he could have possibly overlooked her beauty when they first saw each other. Of course, he ultimately does understand what initially caused him to not see her in that way – the overwhelming force of her scent – but, even despite that, he’s still completely unable to view her any differently once he really sees her, and he’s amazed that her scent could be powerful enough to distract him, even for a moment, from looking at her with eyes filled with nothing but fervent love.

I couldn’t help but smile when reading about just how excited Alice was at the notion of being friends with Bella. “Can I talk to Bella now??” made me laugh out loud, and I enjoyed seeing that she, of course, wants Edward to be happy, but that she also simply looks forward to hanging out with Bella and having her as a girlfriend. It was also heart-warming to see Esme’s ecstatic happiness that her son, the one who always seemed to end up alone, might have actually found someone to share his life with. Perhaps understandably, Edward falling for Bella isn’t exactly viewed as great news by most of the Cullens – Jasper is cautious, Rosalie is horrified, Emmett is probably more amused than anything else, Carlisle is happy for Edward but also intensely aware of the dangers posed, and even Alice is a bit worried despite her excitement over the idea – but Esme? She’s thrilled. Absolutely thrilled. She couldn’t be happier.

So, even considering how enjoyable it was to read, and how much I look forward to getting back to it, I remain extremely annoyed that Stephenie’s artistic integrity was attacked, and that her work was shown to the rest of the world in a state much earlier than she wanted the public to see it in. For the record, I don’t generally involve myself in piracy, and I justified reading it only because Stephenie decided to make it available on her website. If she had not, or if she were still working on it, I would stay away. I can’t say that I blame her for suspending the project out of frustration, either, but I do hope that, perhaps in the next couple of years, after she’s gotten a bit of distance and spent some more time with her family, she can continue and finish at least that one book through Edward’s eyes. I like that the idea didn’t start as any sort of a business decision, but merely as one example of how her love for her characters manifests itself – it was simply Stephenie wanting to see how Edward would tell the story and where it would go.

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Twilosophy in defense of S.M. March 8, 2009

Posted by Jordan in Thoughts, Twilight.
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3 comments

I’ve recently come across a few blog posts from people seeking to defend Stephenie Meyer’s writing from those who seek to discredit it, and that got me thinking. I was also exchanging Twilosophy thoughts with a friend over e-mail the other day, and she asked me what I thought the “lure”, so to speak, of the series is, and why so many people (mainly girls) find it nearly impossible to stop reading the books once they start. She thought, perhaps unsurprisingly, that a lot of it had to do with Edward, and I’m sure that’s certainly part of it. There’s a lot more going on than just him, though, as far as the initial attraction to the series is concerned. I think that the Edward fascination is a byproduct of other, more basic things that draw people (mainly girls) into the story, like the dynamics between he and Bella and all the different motifs in play there. The story is sort of a cocktail of several different elements that young girls – well, any young people, not just girls – can relate to.

It’s first love and forbidden love mixed together, and I think that combination is what excites so many girls and draws them in.

For Bella, all the feelings and emotions she experiences after she meets Edward are completely and totally alien to her – she knows that she’s falling for a cute boy, so it’s not like she’s not an idiot, but her mind and her body have no idea what to do with any of that, or how to process it. It’s a huge tidal wave of hormones and emotions mixed together, and at first, it’s a sensory overload, like towards the beginning of Twilight when she’s not even sure why she can’t stop thinking about him. It doesn’t make any sense to her, because, despite all that she’s probably heard from other girls and all the movies she’s seen, she herself has never had anything like that happen to her. All of that, of course, is instantly understandable by any girl with a pulse, and Twilight being written from Bella’s perspective, from that of a girl, also has a lot to do with it. They understand exactly what Bella’s going through and why every single word, or gesture, or expression, is weird and unfamiliar and scary and sexy and exciting.

Also, from Edward’s perspective, she is his first love as well! Of course, when they first meet, it’s a bit more complicated for Edward, since he, unlike Bella, knows why she is drawn to him and why he, at least initially, wants her (and her blood) so badly. That’s where the forbidden love idea comes into play. There’s an amazing amount of chemistry and electricity between the two of them, and yet the one guy Bella is falling head over heels for is also the one guy who has to caution her about getting too close to him. It’s likely that no other guy at Forks High School would do that, but Edward has to, because of how dangerous it is for the both of them. That element of forbidden love, of course, is like a superconductor for the electricity and the sexual tension between them, and that’s why some girls can’t help but start screaming incoherently whenever they’re asked about Twilight, because they’re the exact same as Bella! They, in some cases, have no idea what to do with those feelings yet either, and they relish reading about even the most minute interaction between Edward and Bella, especially in the first book, because, to them, there’s no such thing as a minute interaction!

It annoys me when guys (or whoever, really) direct ill will towards the books, and Twilight specifically, for being too descriptive and lingering too much on the seemingly insignificant details of Bella and Edward getting to know each other. They like to point out that the book, for almost the first 400 pages, is nothing but the two of them talking. THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT! That’s exactly why so many girls love it! Those people that speak against it for those reasons, apparently, have never been teenagers, or in love for the first time, because when you’re in that situation, NO detail is insignificant! Every single thing, no matter how small, feels important on an earth-shattering level! That’s one of the things I loved about the movie – in interviews, RPattz and KStew talked about how they didn’t want to play their roles like they were kids from the Disney channel. They really wanted to get into them, for real, and they spent hours on set talking about vampires and what it would be like to be in love with one. They took it extremely seriously, which, in my opinion, was absolutely the right way to go. And you can see it come across like that in the movie. They got that right, because, to their target audience (young girls), there’s nothing in the world more serious than being in love! Also, while I’m rambling, I also think it’s stupid and insensitive that some people roll their eyes at the “Twilight Moms” and just dismiss them – I think it’s awesome that they can get into the story too. They like it for precisely the same reasons as the teenagers do, and there’s nothing wrong with that! Love, and the ability to be fascinated by the dynamics behind it, has no age limit!
 
As far as I’m concerned, like what the “lure” is, I like it for some of those same reasons that I just mentioned. I oftentimes can relate to girls’ emotions just as well as I can with guys, if not better, and I find it fascinating reading about why the story has touched so many different girls in nearly every conceivable situation. I love that so many have been captivated by the story and by Edward and Bella’s relationship. Also, I don’t think it’s at all crazy that some women speak of raising their real-life standards for relationships because of a fictional one. It’s a beautiful story, and people need reassurance that it’s okay to let yourself sometimes get a bit wrapped up in the idea of what you want love to be for you. The world around us is entirely too cynical about that, and life is entirely too short to settle for anyone less than someone who gives your heart wings and makes you feel like you can fly. That’s what those books are ultimately about, in my opinion. Stephenie Meyer likes to describe them as “vampire books for people who don’t like vampire books”, and that’s not a bad way to put it. However, for me, the glue that keeps everything together – the thread that sews it all up – is the purity, love, fascination, devotion, care, and mutual appreciation shown in Edward and Bella’s relationship.

Twilight November 22, 2008

Posted by Jordan in Movies, Thoughts, Twilight.
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2 comments

saw it tonight. full disclosure: I haven’t read the books yet, but have read a decent amount of the first one and knew a respectable amount going in about the characters. will DEFINITELY be reading them in the next few weeks.

wow. i liked it. it was … i don’t know, it’s kind of hard to quantify, but i loved the mood and the vibe they created. it was intoxicating and entrancing. loved the quirky things, like the Cullens watching the cooking TV show and Bella’s dad casually giving the ok to bring Edward in as he is loading the shotgun. and it was like … watching it, it’s almost like it takes itself too seriously and yet somehow remains self-aware. again, it’s hard to describe.

this next thing might end up being really hard to blog about without sounding completely gay, but my man-card has been damn near permanently revoked at this point anyway, so screw it. it absolutely makes sense to me why so many girls (and their moms, for that matter) are such big fans of Edward, almost as if they are legitimately frustrated that Robert Pattinson isn’t just Edward brought to life. and it’s not just Edward and how dreamy he is, or whatever, but it’s the way he looks at Bella, and the way Bella seems to just be transformed by being around him. it’s the effect they have on each other. it’s a love that’s pure, unfiltered, dangerous, sexy, scary, and uncertain. that kind of feeling for each other, the intensity that flares every time they lock eyes – it’s almost blinding. nothing else matters. it’s just magical. and honestly, i’m glad that so many women have fallen for him and wish that they could be the one to see his skin sparkle, or to stand at the top of a massive tree after being carried up on his back, or lay in a field of grass and just gaze at each other. it’s saddening and puzzling to me when i wonder why those feelings and those experiences seem to be so rare now. not just for me, mind you, but for anyone. i fear that people are becoming more cynical and more isolated. i hope i’m wrong, to be sure, but i see such a strange dichotomy much more often than i would like. we live in the technological age, with all these different ways to connect with one other, whether it’s MySpace, blogging communities like this one, text messaging, Bluetooth, etc. and yet, even with all this at our disposal, i can’t help worrying that it will all end up as insulation, and that it will end up taking away the human aspect of everything. anyway, i hope Edward and Bella’s incredible romance makes all those women more discerning and more willing to pay extra attention for that magic, more likely to turn guys down who find it easier to tear them down then lift them up. we are in desperate need of more relationships like theirs. maybe not to the extent of worrying about whether or not kissing your significant other will end up getting you bitten, but we all need to see interaction like theirs. the way they look at each other, it’s almost as if they’re the first member of the opposite sex that the other one has seen. and they’re so immersed in that, so wondrous about just how it is possible that someone could exist who can make them forget where they are and make them wonder why they ever thought anything else had any significance at all.

maybe i’m delusional, but i refuse and soundly reject the notion that all of what i just mentioned, all of those feelings, have to be confined to the movies. those feelings and those indescribable moments of wonder and of ecstasy are out there, waiting for those of us who believe in them to find them. here’s to never accepting otherwise and being brave and hopeful enough to continue the search.