Rediscovering Twilight

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The first time I read Twilight (the vampire hit by Stephenie Meyer) I was seventeen and in my senior year of high school. It had been out long enough that the hardback version of New Moon was released and Twilight was already available in paperback, so I figure I was about a year behind publication wise. But it was New Moon that caught my eye as I perused my local Barnes and Noble (aka Heaven) looking for new reads after my birthday. I immediately stopped and stared at the absolutely gorgeous cover: a feathery white and red flower against a inky black background. Simple, yet effective. And sooo pretty. I just had to take a peek. Just to see if it might be worth my time.

The summery was evocative and exciting (for some reason when it said she cut her finger at a party, I automatically thought she cut it cooking at a party and was like: why on earth are you using sharp utensils at a vampire party?!) and I knew this book was destined to be mine…until I saw that it was a sequel. Sigh, defeated by my own neurosis. I admittedly have a thing my lovelies about reading books in order NO MATTER WHAT. I just can’t handle picking up the third or fourth or even the second book first, I’m just not built that way. And I never read the last page first either. Sacrilege. But anyway…New Moon went back on the shelf and I reluctantly picked up Twilight and gave it a look over. The cover wasn’t as pretty. It was gothic-looking and just odd. So was this really the book for me? I looked back at the other cover, so tragic and romantic. That cover was for me, so if I had to read this book to get to that one then so be it. I promptly bought the book and went along on my merry way none the wiser that I had just purchased one of those life-altering books we all dream about as avid readers.

Skip forward a few days until I actually start reading the book and within a few pages I’m hooked! Screw the pretty flower-covered book, this was my kind of story! Impossible romance, thrilling danger, paranormal themes of a non-scary nature, and a sparkly love interest! Where the hell had this book been all my life?! You know how much I love sparklies my lovelies, it’s a weakness, I can’t help it! Edward was perfection itself and Bella was so adorably relatable, I couldn’t help but love them both. And Charlie. And the Cullen family. I read every spare minute I could find, even going so far as to read during class, which is about as close to teenage rebellion as I ever got. It was like riding a feels roller-coaster. I was on an emotional high for three days, loving every second of it and prepping my mom for reading it next — she very quickly fell in love with the book as well and Edward in particular.

Twilight was a beacon of happiness and possibility for me at a time when I was stressed out with college applications, writing endless scholarship essays, and knowing that every day that passed was one day closer to me leaving my family for college. It gave me something to look forward to and was something my mom and I bonded over book-wise. Twilight was my second Harry Potter experience. It was something I latched onto and wouldn’t let go of for anything. I picked up countless vampire novels afterward, so thrilled to have some new reading area opened up to me, and when I finally did go away to FSU, Twilight started many a conversation in class and instantly bonded complete strangers with their love of Edward and this poignant love story. Life as a Twi-hard was fantastic.

Until the first movie premiered.

As soon as I discovered a movie was in the works — which was early on because the author’s website was a daily stopping point for me — I was uncontrollably excited. I eagerly waited for every new piece of casting information and interview tidbit and very quickly became addicted to IMDb — the king of all movie information websites. Needless to say, when tickets went onsale, I ordered mine online (which was still a new kind of thing at the time) and a group of friends and I arrived at the theater opening night breathless with anticipation. I settled into my seat, the lights dimmed, and I waited for Edward to appear. And sadly, he did appear — to the applause from the entire theater no less — but he so clearly wasn’t Edward. Or at least, not the Edward I knew.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

The smooth, velvet-voiced and mercurial-tempered Edward Cullen was now a rude, I-hate-my-life, depressed teenage boy. And Bella was just as bad. Where were her constant smiles and cute awkwardness? Where was his ability to dazzle every woman in a ten-foot radius, and his love of arguing playfully just to get a rise and blush out of Bella? Everything was so sharp, every sentence they spoke to one-another cutting instead of sparring and sweet. And their intimate getting-to-know-you moments (blood testing in Bio anyone) were completely destroyed, rewritten into laughable, hard-to-watch needless drama (I know what you are. Say it…out loud. Vampire.). No…just no. It didn’t work and I left the theater vaguely disappointed but unsure why that was or how it could possibly be. I was supposed to love everything Twilight, so why didn’t I love this? Something was definitely wrong in my Twilight universe.

Things only got worse when the second movie was released. Presented with a down-right depressing and condescending Edward that I just couldn’t stand, I switched teams, becoming a Jacob fan. And let me tell you that caused MOUNTIANS of drama at home when I said as much to my mother. Other friends of mine came home from college with completely new religious beliefs but I came home a Jacob fan and a feminist, what the hell had happened?! My love affair with Twilight was flickering, the movies completely blurred the books for me until I was just too annoyed to reread them because I couldn’t handle getting aggravated by Edward all over again. I couldn’t see my book Edward anymore, only the representation on the T.V. screen. And for more personal reasons, I was discovering I didn’t like controlling men, and Edward definitely had control issues.

By the time the fourth and final book arrived, I was a die-hard Jacob fan and totally enraged at the cop-out that was Renesmee Cullen. I can handle Jacob not getting the girl and all because lets be honest, we all knew he wasn’t going to get the girl, but it was like the author didn’t have the guts to give Jacob an unsatisfactory ending and created this whole new love interest out of frenzied desperation. Think about it, how awkward is it going to be to tell your future love that you had a MASSIVE thing for her mother back in the day, but hey, you know, you’re great too. I’m totally not settling for second best here or anything. Sigh, she was cute in the movie and all, but really just let Jacob go off with Leah and Seth and start a new life slightly disappointed but free to live his own epic love story in the future. But no, you had to shackle him to the kid of his almost-true love and call that acceptable. Nope. Not for me.

Grrr.

So why bring all this up with you now my lovelies? Legitimate question. Well after years of not reading the books and only watching the movies when I had to, I got the random urge to try the books again. Perhaps it was because of all the tenth anniversary hoopla I saw online, but I decided to at least give them another try, just to see if anything was salvageable from my former Twilight ardor. I started reading this past week, forcing myself to put aside all my anger and annoyance which flared to life every now and then when a book scene and the movie scene merged together in my head. Thankfully, this happened only a handful of times.

So what did I find? Was the book everything it was originally? Well yes and no. Yes, in the fact that it was a sweet, teenaged love story and that Edward was once again the boy I vaguely remembered at this point. And although I still had to remind myself to not instantly dislike him, I could see the vampire I fell in fictional-love with again. And Bella was so much happier than she ever is in the movie versions. It was nice, like a cute little memory newly rediscovered. But it also wasn’t the epic drama I thought it was at seventeen. I could now see the somewhat laughable nature of it when they basically fall in insta-love and some of the more creepier aspects of their relationship. But that’s more me growing into an adult than any fault of the book I think. And yes, the writing was not the brilliant prose I remembered, but it wasn’t horrible either. There were definitely way too many descriptions of Edward’s beauty and his likeness to an angel, but you know, in the end, it’s a book for TEENAGERS, it doesn’t have to be perfect, especially for an adult reader. I can appreciate it for what it gave me all those years ago and for the cute story it is to me now. And actually there were some segments of writing that are downright lovely. And I didn’t completely hate Edward! So I count that as a win.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

All that being said, I’m starting New Moon now, so we’ll see how long my new-found Edward acceptance really lasts. I was actually thankful that Jacob wasn’t a major presence in the first book, it gave me time to remember Edward and why I liked him, but we all know New Moon is Jacob’s book, so we’ll see how it goes. 😉 In the end I’m really happy that I gave this book another try, it opened back up a world that I once loved. And even though I can’t fully fall back into that ever-green Forks-centered world, it’s nice to visit again and see some long-lost friends and places. And as tempted as I am to re-watch the movies now to see if I have the same success, I’m going to wait until I finish reading the books, just in case movie-Edward pisses me off again. Though I really love all the movies except the first one, the rest are wonderful for the most part, but I just don’t want to risk movie-Edward ruining all my progress here!

What about you my lovelies, have you ever fallen out of love with a favorite book/character/or series? Did you ever try to revisit them again? What books have changed your life? Be sure to let me know and happy reading my lovelies!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Careful

Well my lovelies, I’ve searched and searched for pictures that bring to mind this week’s challenge (Careful) but I guess most of my pictures aren’t about being careful so much as living a little! So really I only found one that brought being cautious to mind.

This was one of the first pictures taken my very first day of classes at FSU my freshman year. Walking to class, I was terrified, lonely, desolate, and trying so carefully to keep myself together when all I wanted to do was crumble and break into a thousand little pieces.

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Thankfully things improved with time and this terrifying place became my home away from home, a place where I carefully, deliberately, wildly, and unexpectedly became myself. 😀

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P.S. WordPress just informed me that this is my 200th post! *Happy dance* Thank you for all the support and friendship my lovelies and here’s to the next 200!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

Alright my lovelies, this week the challenge is Change, or more importantly a change in process. I actually really like this challenge, it brought to mind so many wonderful memories and I’m so happy to relive them and share them with you 😀

First, one enormous change just this past year was the wedding of my awesome Bestie to her awesome husband (my Bestie-in-Law as we’ve dubbed one another) earlier this year. In truth, I found the idea of her getting married just as terrifying as I did exciting. I mean, what if our friendship changed? What if he and I didn’t get along (which was a silly fear considering I already thought of him as a great addition to our group lol)? But then, how could I not be happy and excited for one of my most favorite people on the Earth marrying the man who made her happy? And in the end, their marriage did change things, she and he moved further away (a mere hour and a half, but still, no more random visits) and I gained a wonderful Bestie-in-Law, so like in all things, it was a give and take. But ultimately, this change was a thrilling experience — even the scary bits — and I love the results! Besides, I was one awesome Maid of Honor, if I do say so myself.

And I do.

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And there’s also the fabulous new addition we have to our family this year, my cousin had her first baby a few months ago and I was so thrilled to welcome the first of the next generation of our family into the world! He’s a wonderful, adorable, and downright cute as all get out, change in progress!

Here’s a little picture I snapped at his baby shower:

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And of course, one of the biggest changes of my life was the adventure that was my years spent at FSU 😀

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Any changes in your life my lovelies? Let me know in the comments 😀

Weekly Photo Challenge: Motion

Hello again my lovelies, I hope you’re all having a delightful Saturday/weekend so far! I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking a Robin Hood marathon may be in order… you know, strictly for the historical merit, not because Richard Armitage plays one of the sexiest incompetent bad-guys ever… and the fact that Much pretty much makes me laugh out loud in practically every episode…

But besides all that, it’s once again that time, and this week’s photo challenge is Motion, which usually means blurry in my photo taking capabilities, but since blur was a few weeks ago, I scavenged and scoured until I found a few photos that should do the trick 😀

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Now what episode did I leave off on? 😀

Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

It’s that time once again my lovelies and this week the challenge is Orange, one of my three favorite colors. (Which are green, purple, and, well you know…just in case you were wondering lol!) 😀 So let’s get this thing started!

Orange:

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Marmaduke snail

Me at FSU

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Orange Rose

There you have it my lovelies and I hope you feel inspired to share some of your own orange photos (I sadly realized how few orange photos I actually have lol)! And OUAT Season Three Moments will be posted soon — tomorrow mostly likely — so prepare for the greatest Moonstonemaiden list  ever posted…yet!

P.S. The snail was something I discovered one day and nearly flipped out over because of it’s outrageous cuteness, I mean look at that orange shell!!! Needless to say I snapped quite a few photos and then rushed inside to show my mother and brother (who were noticeably less excited than I was I have to admit). After I insisted that we name him — and because all three of us insisted on a different moniker — the poor fellow’s name ended up being the rather dashing: Marmaduke Phteven Sunrise 😀

Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

Sorry this post is late my lovelies, but the toothache has been going strong for the past few days and has only noticeably started to ease up tonight (fingers crossed it continues to get better!). The challenge this week is Achievement, so lets get started shall we!

This first photo is from the book signing for Serendipity, an anthology put together by my high school and bonus, I was the editor!

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The embarrassment that was my first Dorm Room…yeah, I learned real fast that bringing everything from home was not exactly ideal!

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And finally, this is the site of my first karaoke night where my bestie and I sang our hearts out (thank God for her, she’s such a wonderful singer, no one could hear how bad I was when we sang together lol)!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Descent

This weeks challenge my lovelies is Descent — which is not exactly what I thought it would be considering the challenge was issued on Halloween, but I don’t pick the challenges lol! Now living in Florida, descent-themed pictures are not readily available, we don’t have cute mountains or hills to helps us here (unless you go North and surprisingly I don’t have any pictures of hills from my FSU days lol!) and in didn’t feel like standing at the top of a bridge or skyscraper — mostly because I turn into a human-sized bowl of jelly when I get more than a foot off the ground — so these pictures will be height related-ish lol!

First up is one of my new pictures from my Bestie Weekend, taken at the Fort:

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Next is another new picture, of a well discovered during on of the many archeological digs always happening around the St. Augustine area — one of the hazards and glories of living in the Nations Oldest City! The well’s been encased in what I guess is a very thick glass that you can actually walk on and is in the courtyard of a school building downtown. If you look very closely, you can see some unearthed artifacts that I’m pretty sure were found around the city and placed there for an awesome effect, but it looked amazing in person:

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And finally here’s one I managed to find at the last minute of me at FSU after all!!! Miracles do happen people 😀

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And on a side note: I’m right on track NaNo wise, though no one can call me an overachiever lol! One of my writing buddies has over ten thousand words already and I have to keep reminding myself I’m better under pressure and that my word count will pick up the closer to the end of the month that we get. And I’ll be posting more of the Ratha story either later today or tomorrow, but a warning: things get very dark for a bit before picking back up. I give you a glimpse in to the marriages of the three friends and for two of them, things are about as bad as they can be, so just that keep in mind for the next post or two.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction

This week’s photo challenge my lovelies is Refraction, a harder one I think they’ll never find 😉 I finally found some suitable pictures and they’re all from the Suwannee Dining room at FSU, aka my food-based home away from home 😀

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I’ll never forget walking in there for the first time during Orientation. I was flat-out exhausted and so terrified/excited for the coming years and  not really paying too much attention to either the food or the décor, but my dad just kept staring and turning around in his seat like a nutter before finally saying “Tara, it’s just like Hogwarts! You get to eat in Hogwarts everyday!”

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So yeah, I totally went to Hogwarts…

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To eat anyway!

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