Monday, April 5, 2010

I Fought the Vampires, and the Vampires Won

It's a beautiful Monday, over 70 degrees when I got in my car to head to work today.

A little overcast, but still brighter than it was a few weeks ago.

All I could see as I drove, though, was the agony of Bella, Edward and Jacob.

Yes, dear reader. I'm ashamed to admit that I have at last become a TWILIGHT junkie.

I must preface my following statements by letting you know that for personal reasons, I have been very anti-TWILIGHT from the beginning.

It's not that I disapprove of vampires--I find the myths and legends of vampires quite intriguing. (A fantastically written vampire novel is THE HISTORIAN by Elizabeth Kostova.)

I disapproved of the writing, the sensationalism, the popularity.... I was taking a stand against "brain candy" (as I like to call it) in favor of literature.

It didn't help any that I was reading THE HISTORIAN right when TWILIGHT surfaced.

One was written to be a YA novel, the other is a strong literary engagement.

So this takes us back to the newest development in my life:

I'm a TWILIGHT junkie.

It started innocently. I was crafting late one night last weekend when I realized that nothing on TV or any movie channels seemed appealing. TWILIGHT was available on On Demand, and so I simply turned it on to keep me company.

The end saw me in tears, my craft long forgotten, curled up on the couch. I immediately found the sequel on On Demand and watched it.

The next week I could NOT get the characters and the story out of my mind.

Now for phase 2 of my insane new obsession:

We left Friday morning to spend Easter with family out of town. Later that day while shopping with my mother-in-law, I realized my cell phone was not on me. We searched purses, luggage, car, etc. Still no phone.

Anyone who knows me knows that my phone is by my side at ALL times. [Come to find out, I had left it in our other car after my early morning drop-off of the puppies at daycare.]

Being left alone without my phone left me with nothing to do. Stranded (for mental entertainment, you could say), I picked up the first book late Friday night to read a few chapters.

I finished it on Saturday, fully engrossed and in love with the characters.

Sunday, after Easter service at church, I picked up the next book and devoured it.

Today, I'm fighting off the images of the characters as I debate whether to start the next book or wait a while.

So why on earth am I admitting this to you?

I wanted to remind you of the power of a good story.

Would I rank the books or writing as "good"? No. Did I find grammar mistakes? Yes. Are there major flaws, both in character development as well as plot development? Yes. Are the themes muddled? Yes.

But when you boil it down, the story is captivating.

My Shirt Says "Team Edwacob"

Like Edward, those in the book industry can be so caught up in what is realistic, factual, that we forget the small things called hope and optimism, things Jacob stood for.

It is so easy to become cynical these days.

Why do you think I named the blog "Recovering Editor...Back on the Wagon"? It is in recognition that i am re-engaging my personal appreciate for all literature, blocking out the hopeless cynicism that can be overwhelming.

SO, take heart, dear writer. A book doesn't have to be wildly successful to be meaningful. You might worry and fret over things you wish you could change about what you had written, but don't be.

Your book is exactly what it is supposed to be: a representation of you and the message you have to share.

I guarantee you that if you can connect your book with it's right audience--with the readers who will find their lives changed--you'll find the success your book deserves.

That's how it happened for Stephanie Meyer. And now look at me...a self-professed book snob can't put down a series written for young adults. :)

Question: What was the last book that so thoroughly engrossed you, you lost track of yourself in it? How did you find that book?

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