2009-02-23

Why I am obsessed by The Twilight Saga: My analysis of the Series Book 1

I first wrote this on my Myspace page in August of 2008. The Please enjoy!

First let me start with these Disclaimers: 1) These are my Opinions. Please add comments, but no Haters please. That is what your own Blog is for. 2)There will be spoilers, so if you've never read the series, stop here or if you want to hear the obsessive rant of a new Twilight convert, then please keep on reading. 3) I had absolutely no one to freakin' talk too about the books!!

My introduction into the world of Twilight literally started about two weeks ago. I picked up the first book on a Tuesday, four days before book 4 was due to come out. I had just finished the San Diego Comic Con the week before, and it was quite a shock to see all of these people, teenagers and adults at what was lovingly referred to as the Twilight booth.

Apparently, while I skipped over this book countless times at the bookstore, (I refused to actually look it, though I actually never heard anything about the book per se, it just never occurred to me that it was a Vamp book!!) there was also a movie being made as well as book 2 and 3 were already out. And book 4 was only days away!

My God how did I miss this?!! I try to read as much supernatural/paranormal books I can get my hands on, though the things I read are definitely Adult material. Examples would be Laurell K Hamilton, L.A. Banks, as well as other various paranormal Erotica romance.

As I have no teenage daughter (as I assume this is how other adults got into the series) to introduce me to the series, it is perhaps why I missed this. I say this because my teenage son (who absolutely does not understand my recent obsession with this series, as I had a tearful moment, lol) introduced me to Harry Potter. I actually never heard of this series until Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire when my 5th grade son came home with this ginormus tome. He was kind of shocked that I never heard of this apparent phenomenon. Well once I checked out the series I devoured it, quite not understanding why it was a young adult novel, when it clearly held my interest as an adult.

This is how I feel about the Twilight series. Once I picked up the first book, it "opened" my eyes to this world and I have become quite taken with the story of Edward and Bella. You know when you get a new car and all of sudden you see your car everywhere? Well that is how I feel about this series. All of a sudden "I get it" and I see Twilight everywhere.

But the thing I keep asking myself (see this is why I had to write a damn blog. I have no one to talk to about this!), is why is this particular story so strong, so powerful that people across the world are waiting with bated breath for the movie, have read the series over and over (yea I've read the Twilight fan sites) and all seem to truly be in love with the world Stephanie Meyers create? What is about Bella that resonates with so many readers, teenagers and adults alike? And more importantly: Why in the HELL am I so obsessed with this story??!

So here is my analysis of the series and why, I think, it works.Book 1 Twilight In this book we meet Isabella Swan, Bella as she continues to correct people. Since this story is from her point of view, I was seeing this dreary little town with her eyes. Bella is a quiet girl, who is a bit clumsy, lived in Arizona before the start of the book. She makes a decision that will forever alter her course in life. The thing about Bella, as I came to understand, is that she never saw herself as anything other than just an ordinary girl, who was pale, even in the Arizona sun, who mostly kept to herself. Instantly I get loner. Or someone whose goes through life not really living for themselves but for others. But when she makes the decision to move to Forks, WA to live with her father because she no longer feels needed by her mother, she does it in a moment of what I believe is her first act as a teenager. If you've read this book you might get how I got this. Here she meets the most fascinating boy ever to live, and yet he is more.

After reading this book, I felt as if each and every character truly "breathed". I could actually "see" Forks and its majestic forests. This book also had unbelievable passion. The passion between Edward and Bella left me practically breathless, and the closet they ever get to each other was chaste kisses. How in holy heck did Stephanie Meyers do it? I mean from the time Edward and Bella meet, there was this slow build up, this conflagration that kept getting hotter and hotter, until they finally come together and stay together. It is as if Stephanie Meyers read all of these great classic literature pieces and meshed them together to create this new idea! How do I know? Oh because I love the classics. While I don't read some of them I have seen enough movies from the 40's on that were close to the books. Some that come to mind are Pride and Prejudice. My heart sighs at this majestic yet funny story. The two main characters that make the story are Mr. Darcy (sigh) and Elizabeth. And of course Gone with the Wind, that Grand Passion between Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara. I compare because during the time these stories came out, the passion for the main characters were so strong, their love was all that sustained them, that there was no need for "intercourse" written.

And I think that is what amazes me the most, again as I read adult novels and of course every little detail of intercourse is written basically telling me that this is the characters grand passion. And that is fine. But with what Stephanie Meyers has done is taken a step back and actually "shown" me Edward and Bella's grand passion. How does she do it? With active description. With a look. With a touch. And without words as my imagination takes over and I become Bella. This is why I think this first story in the series touches so many people. And keep in mind that Bella is the "real" girl. Not superficial. Actually cooks and keeps house, first for her mother, then for her father. And not once does she ask for anything for herself. How many of us can say that about ourselves? She is clumsy and in her mind not attractive enough to be with Edward. He is part of the beautiful people, a higher echelon that Bella herself can never place herself.

Even after Edward falls for her, Bella throughout the book refuses to believe he can even like her. She constantly questions her self worth. In her eyes she is to0 ordinary to his extraordinary presence. And yet by the end of the book, she finally starts to get it that Edward does love her. That she is worthy. Though she has self-doubts, what girl wouldn't? How many can relate to Bella's story whether you're a teenage girl or full grown woman? We all self-doubts about ourselves, and this make Bella very relatable.

And the nice twist of this story is that Edward is a Vampire. But with a variation on the "normal" theme. His kind never sleep. There saliva actually is a venom that creates vampires. They can go out in the Sun, but the reason they don't is because their skin shine like a many faceted diamond. And Bella's blood is a siren's song to Edward. Every time he is with her, he has to be careful with her.

The other twist to the vampire lore is that in Stephanie Meyer's world Edward's family are "vegetarian" meaning they take no human blood, but actually that of animals! That is what I call amazing. That is by far the best new idea on a tired Vamp theme.

**Update 02/23/09**
The funny thing is that so many people bash on Stephanie Meyers and say how poor her writing is. Then of course those same haters then bash on the young teens who get so caught up in a fictional boy (Which I find hilarious as there are many grown women who are obsessed with the story as well).

But what people fail to realize is that it is not the sentence structure that holds people interest, it is the story of a girl, an awkard girl falling for a boy who, in her mind, is out of her league. How many girls and women can relate? Apparently millions. So why she may not win literary awards for well-written literature in the eyes of many, she has done something that only a few authors have done; is bring people together from all walks of life. It has opened up dialogue, and while it may be about who's team your on (Team Edward or Team Jacob), it is getting complete strangers talking about their passion and all things Twilight!

Ok part two of my obsession will continue later!
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2009-02-18

Family Guy 101: Why is this show relevant?

Family Guy last Sunday (02/15/09) was probably the funniest one to date. I thought the one with Jesus and the whole “Bird is the Word” was the one. My 17 year old son had tears in his eyes and I was laughing so hard I just knew my neighbors were going to come and tell us to be quiet!

If you didn’t see it, here is a clip.



By far the funniest in my estimation. So funny seeing it again made me laugh harder!! The whole Bryan Adams song to the most insane looking video was just too much. I love Family Guy and yes Stewie is my favorite character on there.

And the thing is I don’t know why I love it so much. Maybe it is because Seth Macfarlane grew up loving the same things I did. Some of the things he features on the show makes me shake my head in wonder. I mean he comes up with the obvious (featuring the current upheaval in the world) but also the obscure. One example of the obscure was the Woodsey Owl character from the 70’s/80’s who did all these PSA’s for the forest. You know “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute?”

Not once have I ever thought about those PSA’s as an adult, yet seeing that owl again made me smile and then laugh until tears came out, because when you go on you tube and look at those old commercials they are hilarious! See the commercial here:



My poor son, sometimes the humor goes right over his head and he can’t get it unless he researches it online. But by then it is too late to get the humor. But when he watches it in re-runs then he can appreciate the humor. I honestly think that Family Guy, with all its no holds barred situations, is a good look into the human psyche. Seriously.

Good example. The one episode where Peter was the only one in his community who built a shelter to save his family from the New Millennium? Well remember people’s obsession and fear of the unknown? Were the computers going to stop? How were we going to cope? In Family Guy of course Peter was right and everything that could go wrong did, from planes falling out of the air, machines not working, to people living in a post apocalyptic world. Of course the plot turned, as the plots always do in Family Guy, and Peter’s quest? To find the Twinkie plant as in his mind that would be the only thing to survive in the New Millennium.

Bottom line, the show is BLOODY BRILLIANT! If you like crass humor (which this show has in spades!!), and to see people and/or situations made fun of, then this is the show for you. Honestly I do not know why people don’t like it. Maybe they just don’t get it. Or maybe they are the ones the show targets to be made fun of. Either way people should give it a chance. Who knows, you may like it!
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2009-02-10

Anger Management 101

Thursday last week 02/05/09 , I had a terrible day. It got so bad in fact that I had to take several breaks, and on one occasion had tears of frustration in my eyes. So I did something that I haven’t done in awhile; write poetry as a way to bleed out all the anger I felt.

So I read the poem again this morning and hello, it is kinda creepy. Now I don’t know if it is because it is my own work and I am biased or if it really is a creepy little piece of literature.

My oldest son always tells me that I am gothy and emo in my feelings. I find that funny as I don’t dress or exactly “live” the lifestyle or culture.

But I guess if I have dark periods, love vamps, moody, and listen to so called “emo” music I guess that I am.

But let it be known, I personally don’t call myself these things, only that my son describes me as such. I’d love to see myself in some of the clothing favored by both cultures, but only at Halloween.

But I digress. Here is the poem:

Inflicted
I hear the Harpies sing
an off-key melody,
grating and grinding.
My ears bleed out
thoughts no longer mine.

They cackle in joy,
their triumph over my defeat.

I smell their defilement,
their filth, as they crowd closer,
their warm, fetid breath,
a humid experience.

I can’t move, locked in
utter horror as my eyes
try to lose focus on the
vision around me.

It is not finished, but I like what I got. Is it a masterpiece? Not really. But it was how I felt at the time and now I captured the feeling of a bad day for me, so to speak in a series of words. Comments are always welcome as well as any feedback/critique. But keep in mind if your that person who loves to bash on others just for the fun of it, then your not welcome. Thanks.

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2009-02-08

My Favorite Vampire Movies

Now I was looking on my facebook page and a list of Top Ten Vampires link came up. Some of the picks I agreed with, but some really good ones came up that were missing. So I created my own. But I could only pick 10 and I realized that thinking back I've seen a lot, more than ten and I decided to put my list of my favorites here. And these are not ranked in order. So in no particular order, here we go.

1. Blade 1- This movie rocked and kicked major Ass! Having Wesley Snipes as Blade was a good thing. Seen this so many times, I just love the lore in this vampire world. How Blade can be both vamp and human. Just AWESOME!

2. Blade 2- This one was just as good if not better. And much more grosser! I love the uber vamps in this one. They went after humans and vamps alike. Their bite was so poisonous and so hard to kill. And the jaw unhinging, yuck!

3. Blade 3- Ok I only put this here because I have this thing about keeping trilogies together. I did not like this movie as much as the first two. It only felt like they put this out just to put it out. I think if they went a different direction and not had Jessica Beal or Ryan Reynolds (who I am sorry didn't seem hard enuff to battle vamps) or lame ass Dracula it have been better. But this is my opinion .

4. The Interview with a Vampire- This was Anne Rice's awesome world of Lestat. I read the book and was amazed at the sensualist he was and how charismatic. And Tom Cruise definatly played the part to perfection.

5. Queen of the Damned- This movie did not follow the movie at all. Was very pissed about that. But this Lestat was hotter and sexier in my opinion. And Aaliyah was bad ass. As a vampire movie I love it. It does what it needs to do. And the music rocked as well.

6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer- Love this movie. Can't really explain it. Maybe it has that almost campy feel or maybe I like the idea of a Valley Girl turning into a vampire Slayer. Who knows? But this is seriously on my bookshelf.

7. Underworld 1- Love this movie. Love the whole concept of Lycans vs Vamps. And the whole lycan-vamp hybrid. Love Kate Beckinsale as this kick ass vamp enforcer!

8. Underworld 2- Love this movie as well. This second movie is really good and again the fight scenes rock!

9. Underworld 3- When I first heard that this movie was going to be a prequel I was absolutly pissed!! I already kinda knew from the flashback scenes. But you know what? It really, really helped tie in the whole genre together. And I LOVED it!!

10. Twilight- How can I not put this on here?! I loved the book (read the whole series in 4 days), and loved the movie. The thing is, the movie did not follow the book religously, as the book is almost 500 pages, but it did a good enuff job to convey the intense love Edward and Bella have for each other. I feel that it is just another edition to the twilight univers.

11. Van Helsing- Another Kate Beckinsale movie. I really, really like this movie. It has vampires, a wolfman, and frakenstein. Good action.

12. Blood: The Last Vampire- I am fan of Anime and I always try to catch it on tv as much as I can. When I saw this one I was blown away. It was only about 45 mins long but from beginning to end the blood flowed.

13. Night Watch- Among normal humans live the “Others” possessing various supernatural powers. They are divided up into the forces of light and the forces of the dark, who signed a truce several centuries ago to end a devastating battle. Ever since, the forces of light watch the day while the night belongs to their dark opponents. In modern day Moscow the dark Others actually roam the night as vampires while a “Night Watch” of light forces, among them Anton, the movie’s protagonist, try to control them and limit their outrage. This is a good movie. But I had to watch twice with no interruptions. I don't know if it was because it was a Russian import but seeing twice helped me to understand it.

14. Blacula- A curse from Count Dracula turns African prince Mamuwalde into Blacula. Two hundred years later, having been recently released from his his coffined bondage, he hits the mean streets of L.A. looking for his lost princess. And it is funny too.

15. From Dusk till Dawn-
This Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Taratino movie was crazy, blood-ridden movie of a vampire stripper joint. Funny and gross.

16. My Best Friend is a Vampire-
This is an awesome funny movie from the 80's with a boy who may or may not be a vampire.

17. Bram Stroker's Dracula- This was the book that started the whole Dracula craze. While it wasn't the actual first vamp story written back in the 18th century it was the most popular. This is a good movie and Gary Oldman is an awesome Dracula.

18. The Lost Boys-
Strange events threaten an entire family when two brothers move with their divorced mother to a California town where the local teenage gang turns out to be a pack of vampires. Classic!

19. Vampire in Brooklyn- The tale of vampire looking for his queen. Really good. One of the good ones from Eddie Murphy. Funny and scary.

20. Fright Night- The tale of a neighbor who is a vampire and a boy who plans to take him down. This movie scared the hell out of me when I saw it back when it came out. Loved it!

21. Fright Night 2- The sister of the slain vamp is after the boy who slayed him.

Now this is in no way an exhaustive list but more of the movies I think are cool!
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What if Vampires could eat food?

Ok just finished this new vampire book. It is called Eternal by V. K. Forrest. It is a paranormal romance. Ok here is what I liked about the book.

First off as you read the beginning of the story from the main character point of view Fia Kahill, you don't get the sense that she is a vampire. I mean the back of the book says she is, but she doesn't come off that way. Why? It is because she is an FBI agent, who can walk in the sun and eat food. Whoa! That was something different. As a side note I am always reading vampire books and it is nice to come across one the has its own rules.

So not only does she eat food but she has a therapist. She also has an addiction. She goes out at night dressed as a hooker and picks up men to drink blood. But in this vampire novel, her sept (like her vampire coven) decided to protect humans because they are convinced that God cursed them and it is their goal to look after humanity.

I like the fact that in this vampire story, these vampires, while immortal, age like normal humans and die. Then they rise after 3 days and have no recollection of their life until they hit 21. I love that idea.

While I really like the idea of this vampire lore, I was disappointed in the fact that Fia had too many problems. I mean she is a vampire, who works as an FBI agent, but she also has a low self-esteem, little confidence, and kinda of a pushover with her family. I needed her to have a little bit more backbone.

I am also disapointed that the sex scenes were far and few between. And not as descriptive as I like. Don't get me wrong, this author is well written, but I feel that the cover and back cover are a little misleading. While she does fall for the guy, they don't acutally get together until the last half of the book.

So I'd recommend this book for the cool vampire lore and interesting overall story, but this is not a keeper in my book collection. I give this a 3 out of 5.

Thanks and if you think that I am wrong by all means comment.
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2009-02-05

The Art of Procrastination...

So I’ve always wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. Ever since the 4th grade in Mr. Eckhardt’s class and I wrote my first A book report. And I even have some short stories published on a website.

But I can’t seem to get into the groove of actually completing a novel from beginning to end. I have so many stories that I have started that I should have several novels under my belt.

I actually have one story that is done. Unfortunately it is all in my head. The characters are real to me and they want to come out and be, but I have yet to put pen to paper or fingers to keys to completely finish this novel. (I even have the dang title!!)

At 37 I am not getting any younger, though my age has nothing to really do with it. I think what it is for me being my age; I wish that I was already an established writer. I still want to make a living at it, but procrastination is my middle name.

Maybe I love to read too much? I am an avid reader. I can read anywhere from 3-6 books a week. Yeah, I really can read that much. See now that is dedication.

But writing in my own voice would be a welcome relief. I just come up with excuses that apparently are working. I have no discipline. Maybe I need to go to a writer’s boot camp for the writer challenged.

Now that sounds like fun. Maybe the program could be about writer drills, sit at your desk for one hour writing non-stop, and exercise your imagination 101. I’d probably go. Or probably not because knowing me I’d procrastinate to sign up. Oh well.

So here is my question for all: For those who have actually accomplished their dream and finished your novel from beginning to end (published or not) what were your work ethics? What made you finally just stop and write? Inquiring minds want to know!

Zesty Nachos outro!

P.S. How many clich├ęs can you find in this post? No prizes accept bragging rights.
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2009-02-04

Hi!

Welcome. This is my first blog and I basically set it up to talk about all the things that interest me. Unfortunately I love to talk, but not enough people there to listen. So I am here to put my thoughts out in the world, hoping to find more like minded people. I hope you like the name of the blog as my son helped. Thank you. I look forward to having fun with this.
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