I had a lovely Christmas. Can't wait for the next one!
I finally succumbed to pressure from my eldest daughter and two best friends and - gasp! - read Twilight. I know you don't need me to tell you this, but it's very, very good. It entirely captures that dizzy intense feeling of first love and, because it's written in the first person it's hard to read it and not be drawn into those feelings yourself. (On Christmas day I noticed that our Ward Young Women President was wearing socks emblazoned with the logo "I love boys that glitter".) I know it's not to everyone's taste, but I loved the first two books. I'm about to embark on the third one.
I am thrilled that a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has done so well and written this wonderful blockbuster series. For one thing, my daughter is now proud to be a member of what is viewed in our area as a small obscure American sect, and is telling everyone that Stephenie Meyer is a member of our Church. (Donny Osmond may be cool again now, but he just doesn't pack the same punch when it comes to street cred, especially since Sister Meyer mentioned Muse and Linkin Park in her acknowledgements.)
For another thing, I can be confident and happy that Gwen won't find anything untoward in these books. However deep their love, Edward and Bella never do more than some light kissing and hand-holding. OK, so that's because Edward is worried he will eat her, but he still proposes long before there is any hint of friskiness. What a great example to today's youth - look how much Edward and Bella were in love, and they still waited!
I am also thrilled because the books have inspired me to get on with my own writing endeavours. I looked at Stephenie Meyer's website, and it only took her four months to write Twilight. The book I am writing at the moment has taken me about eight years so far. She has three children too, and she could still find time to write. On her website, she also gave two excellent nuggets of advice for would-be (and already-are-but-struggling) writers:
- Read good books. The more you read, the more you will recognise, and be able to emulate, good writing.
- Write something every day. Knuckle down and do it.
Now, this is pretty standard advice. I think I've read it a thousand times before, and passed it on to others. But now I'm actually taking that advice. Twilight is a good book, but it isn't full of complex artistic metaphor or erudite prose - the narrator is a seventeen-year-old girl, after all. It reminded me that I don't have to be clever and use long intellectual words and inspiring narrative all the time. Twilight has lots of dialogue, which I'm not good at, and it showed me that dialogue can be used to flesh-out characters and set scenes. So reading this particular good book has helped me to write my own.
And if Stephenie Meyer can write a masterpiece in four months, then I should at the very least be able to finish the book I am working on. So now I am writing at least 1,000 words each day. My reward for reaching this goal is to allow myself to read a chapter of Eclipse. Now that's motivation!