Friday, October 9, 2015

Dear Stephenie Meyer,

Dear Stephenie Meyer,

You don't know me. You don't care about me. But I care about you. This week celebrates the tenth anniversary of the release of Twilight. Ten years ago, I'd never heard of Twilight. Ten years ago, I had a one year old and was in the middle of my doctoral dissertation and hadn't read a non-school book in over a year.

Eventually, I began to hear about this thing called Twilight. Co-workers with teenaged daughters mentioned it. By that time, school was complete, but we were in the middle of a massive house renovation. Then there was another baby. There was still very little time for reading.

I was aware that there were movies out. I didn't know anything about them, but every time I saw Kristen Stewart, my impression was that she was about to fall asleep. In Target one day, I found a shirt on clearance. It said, 'Team Jacob' on it. Since that's my son's name, I bought it, not really knowing what it referred to.

Then, I stopped at a garage sale. It was the first week I was out of school for the summer. 2010. In addition to a bunch of picture frames, I picked up a slightly beat up copy of Twilight. It was the edition for the movie with the characters on the cover. It was a Sunday.

I finished the book before I went to bed. I talked to my friend sometime in the evening and mentioned I was reading it. She had a copy of New Moon. I drove down to her house and picked it up. I read that on Monday. Eclipse was on Tuesday. Breaking Dawn took me two days. I finished it on Thursday.

And promptly re-read the entire series.

I had not been so engrossed in a series of books in years. My chest clenched and ached after Edward left Bella.

And, like my t-shirt, I was Team Jacob. I so wanted her to pick him.

Twilight got me reading again. Voraciously. I had just gotten my NOOK that year. Following Twilight, I read book after book. My mind was spinning. I couldn't get enough. A friend told me about Midnight Sun, and I read that too. And then I stalked Stephenie Meyer's website for any news that she was completing it.

And my mind kept turning.

About six months after I first picked up Twilight, I turned on my computer, opened up Microsoft Word, and began a new document. It started, "Remind me again why I'm doing this."

Good Intentions.

I'd read that Stephenie Meyer was inspired to write after having a dream which later became the meadow scene. She is a working mom of three. If she could do it, then I figured I owed it to myself to try. That was January, 2011. By July, the first draft of Good Intentions was complete. It took me almost two more years to publish it.

But I did.

Because of Stephenie Meyer.

Two plus years later with close to 90,000 books sold and downloaded, I need to thank Stephenie Meyer. When someone writes to me and says that they stayed up all night reading my work, I know why. When someone tells me they had to stop reading because they were crying, I know why. When someone tells me my book is on their best of the year list, I know why.

I may never reach the success of Stephenie Meyer. But I know that I'm touching people the way her words touched me. And for that I say, thank you.

A fellow author
A grateful fan

(P.S.--Please, for the love of God, finish Midnight Sun.)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

That Moment You Realize You're Old

I had that moment today.

I was clicking through the radio channels today on my way home from work. Never mind that I'm cruising in my minivan. Never mind that I spend considerable energy talking about bunions and arthritis. Never mind that I look at kids in school today and shake my head at their fashion choices. I knew I was old when I was listening to the radio.

The song, Locked Away, came on. Both my kids (who were not with me at the time), really like the song. So I left it on, and was kind of singing along with Adam Levine.

Adam Levine has a catchy voice. So, I'm singing along, and then I realize what the lyrics are. It's one thing to support someone in good times and bad. You know, to promise to love someone even if they don't have money. I'm okay with that. That's a good message.

I TOTALLY have an issue with the fact that he's looking for a girl to stick by him if he gets sentenced to life in prison. Um, no.

Hell, no.

What message are we sending our daughters? It's okay to be committed to a low life who's spending the rest of his life in prison, who has no way to provide for her, and that's her life. I'd hope my daughter would aspire to more. I hope all our daughters (and sons for that matter) aspire to more. Can't we send our kids a better message?

And then, as I'm getting all agitated, I realized, I'm just getting old.