Tuesday, January 11, 2011

#33--Chili at Twilight

This Sunday, we're hosting a chili cook-off at my apartment. We don't have categories, other than we're making chili for the general eating and enjoyment by ourselves and our friends. We're hoping that everyone will be able to make it (lots of snow fell yesterday, so it's a tad slippery outside).

Other than that, I've started re-reading the Twilight series.

It is a group of books that are not only extremely popular, but that also seem to be highly scrutinized by those that do not love them to pieces. I have to admit that I am guilty of judging it for what it does to vampire culture set up by Bram Stoker and others before him, including the actual legends and stories from multiple cultures across the world.

Let me be clear. Stephenie Meyer found a niche in literature that was otherwise unobserved--shiny, dazzling vampires. She has written four novels dealing with the same characters that are based around these vampires with diamond skin. As a traditionalist and having a deep love for the traditional (and quite scary) vampire, I feel that how she has portrayed vampires in her novels is a bit of a disgrace to those fearsome creatures that most people know (and tend to write off, though they wouldn't have been writing it off hundreds of years ago).

Not only that, but some of the writing is just plain bad. In the first book, there is a scene where Bella is in the kitchen, talking about "dust moats." The definition of "moat" is a body of water surrounding some structure, generally a house or castle. The term that should have been used is "dust motes." I realize this may not be a mistake on Meyer's part, but if the editor is to blame, then a big-time editor should have caught the mistake in the first, third, or seventh reading before it went to printing.

On another note, the characters and their emotions seem to be well written, even though Bella can tend to be whiney and stubborn, and Edward can be kind of a tool--but people are that way in real life as well, so I suppose it's forgivable. The storyline itself is compelling, but quickly-paced. I, as a reader, feel that it is highly demanding. I sweat with everyone in the story as they rush along to catch the evil vampire, to save Bella, and so forth.

I also feel that the writing gets better the farther into the series one goes, and the mistakes become fewer and fewer. I do not mean for this to be a scathing review of Meyer or her writing, I merely want to point out that I am personally torn on how to feel about her writing. Her books are fascinatingly irresistible (and believe me, I never thought I would say that, ever) and compelling. I simply cannot stay away from her books. I have the Twilight series and The Host all in hardback, though I have not yet begun reading The Host.

Something else about Stephenie Meyer--she's young, in her thirties--and she has achieved something miraculous for herself. It is SO inspiring for someone to achieve something they set themselves to. And perhaps it was never her initial intention to write and publish five novels successfully, but she did.

I feel that it is very important to accomplish one's dreams. And seeing it happen, every year, every day, gives me hope and fuels me to reach for the things that I want to accomplish--like publishing my own novels.

Additionally, I have been working on Morph, though it is slow going. Especially since I've picked up the Twilight series again.

In any case, I have to go walk the dogs now, in the blistering cold outside. No fun.

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