05 August 2008

Twilight Confessions

I refuse to read Twilight.

My friend, Yoko, first introduced me to the book about a year or so ago. We were having a chick flick night, watching one of my favorite movies, Under The Tuscan Sun, when she mentioned how she couldn't put the book down and was utterly obsessed with the sequel. I LOVE to read, so any time someone recommends a book I take it very seriously. But when Yoko said the book was about teenagers and vampires, I just couldn't pull myself up to reading such a plot. Granted, the synopsis sounds an awful lot like Harry Potter, and I had no moral dilemma reading all seven books in that series. After our movie night I almost forgot about the new reading epidemic, except for the fact that everyone in Utah is also fixated on the book. The mere fact that the author, Stephenie Meyer, is a graduate from BYU may have inspired this connection.

I was reminded of Utah's love for the series, however, when Scott and I were in the dollar theater (thank heavens for dollar theaters!) watching the previews before Iron Man. We had walked into the noisy theater, with a bottle of water and bag of Skittles hiding in my purse, and sat down in two middle seats in one of the center rows to enjoy the movie. We hadn't thought there would be many people at the movie, since Scott first saw the movie in the big-boy theater for his bachelor party back in May. So the movie had to have been in the dollar theater for quite some time. Also, the semester at BYU had ended, and we assumed that not many college students would be in town. Yet we didn't anticipate the striking number of middle school and high school students that would be at the late night show time.

Surrounding us were many couples with their own smuggled snacks, and around them were scores of gaggley teenagers. I could barely hear the trailer for Tropic Thunder, over the drone of tween laughter and "whispers," not that I cared to hear the trailer, but it's the principle of the matter. Only minutes later the teaser trailer for the Twilight movie flashed on the wide-screen. The theater suddenly became eerily quiet, with oohs and ahhs and real girly-toned whispers. With this sort of reaction to a trailer, I expect that like the book, the movie will do very well. I was still not convinced to take part.

At work today, one of my coworkers mentioned how she had stayed up until midnight to buy the fourth book at the late-night bookstore premier. When the next workload pause came up, my lunch break... I used my talent of internet researching to find out more about this fad. A warning: Looking up Twilight on Wikipedia will not bring up any information about the book, series, or author. However, it will give you a scientific description of the time between night and day commonly refered to as "Twilight." Discarding those facts, Google sent me in a better direction towards the author's personal site and explanation of how she started writing the series.

I admit, her writing style is one that I enjoy. In fact, not to sound boastful, but she sounds a lot like me. This particular passage sounds like something I do all the time:

All this time , Bella and Edward were, quite literally, voices in my head. They simply wouldn't shut up. I'd stay up as late as I could stand trying to get all the stuff in my mind typed out, and then crawl, exhausted, into bed (my baby still wasn't sleeping through the night, yet) only to have another conversation start in my head. I hated to lose anything by forgetting, so I'd get up and head back down to the computer. Eventually, I got a pen and notebook for beside my bed to jot notes down so I could get some freakin' sleep. It was always an exciting challenge in the morning to try to decipher the stuff I'd scrawled across the page in the dark.

I remember my mom first telling me to keep a pad of paper and pen by my bed because I would often receive some of my best ideas right before going to sleep. Then I had to figure out what I scribbled down in the morning and see if it still made sense (my pre-sleep thoughts weren't always realistic). The author also described months of editing upon editing (also something I'm proned to do, just in shorter increments) as she tried to get up the courage to send the manuscript to publishers. In the meanwhile, she continued to type out the characters' story.

Stephenie's story of writing Twilight is quite inspiring. You can even watch her tell more about the experience with an religious twist by watching a tidbit of her BYU fireside . Reading Stephenie's description of the Twilight experience and watching the sudden successes in writing and blogging around me makes me more anxious to keep writing. It also makes me think twice about not reading the book. Maybe I'll wait until the last Twlight book comes out and prices are lowered. That's what I wish I had done with Harry Potter, rather than wait years to read the next addition and then peel through massive weight-of-a-book in a matter of hours.