Sunday, 29 November 2009
my books of the week are the following:
breakfast at tiffany's - truman capote
capote's novella takes place during one year in the life of holiday 'holly' golightly and an unnamed narrator. The two are both tenants in an manhattan apartment on the upper east side. holly golightly (age 19-20) is a Texas-born country hick turned New York café society girl, who makes her living coaxing dollars off of rich, older gentlemen. The narrator, who lives in the flat above her, is an aspiring writer. Golightly, who likes to stun people with carefully selected tidbits from her personal life or her outspoken viewpoint on various topics, slowly reveals herself to the narrator. In the end, however, Golightly fears that she will never know what is really hers until after she has thrown it away; she subsequently abandons her friend to seek her ever elusive goal of finding both riches and a place to call home.
'breakfast at tiffanys' was made into a film starring audrey hepburn, george peppard, and patricia neal, being most notable for the reference to tiffany's the jewellers, hepburn herself, and her signature style which was in most part down to the dresses exclusively designed for her by hubert de givenchy. in the film, hepburn portrays holly as a brunette, whilst capote seems to refer to holly in his novella as blonde, and throughout the book, holly seems to be portrayed as a lot more darker and with many more demons than in the feature film version, being fashionably thin and existing on a diet solely consisting of nothing more than cottage cheese.
anna friel and joseph cross currently star in the adaptation of breakfast at tiffany's at theatre royal haymarket [which hopefully i can get tickets to go and see before january :-)]
2. where the wild things are - maurice sendak
i have yet to read this book, but this children's book is one of the best loved children's stories of all time, and with good reason, especially if the outstanding trailer is anything to go by.
The book tells the story of Max, who one evening plays around his home, "making mischief" in a wolf costume. As punishment, his mother sends him to bed without supper. In his room, a mysterious, wild forest and sea grows out of his imagination, and Max sails to the land of the Wild Things. The Wild Things are fearsome-looking monsters, but Max conquers them "by staring into their yellow eyes without blinking once", and he is made "the King of all Wild Things", dancing with the monsters in a "wild rumpus". He soon finds himself lonely and homesick, and he returns home to his bedroom, where he finds his supper waiting for him, still hot.
spike jonze, the director of 'where the wild things are' also co-wrote the film with author dave eggers, whose new book 'the wild things' is based on 'where the wild things are'.
Seven-year-old Max likes to make noise, get dirty, ride his bike without a helmet and howl like a wolf. In any other era, he would be considered a boy. In 2007, he is considered willful and deranged. His home life is problematic. His parents are divorced; his father, immature and romantic, lives in the city. His mother has taken up with a younger man who steals quarters from the change bowl in the foyer. Driven by a series of pressures internal and external, Max leaves home, jumps in a boat and sails across the ocean to a strange island where giant beasts reign. The "Wild Things" is from Maurice Sendak's visionary classic. This is an all-ages adventure, full of wit and soul, that explores the chaos of youth while Max explores the chaos of the world around him.
What was your favorite thing about Chris Weitz and how was his interpretation of the books different from Catherine Hardwicke? - Mira N.
My favorite thing about Chris Weitz: everything. Sounds hyperbole-ish, but he's really that amazing. If you follow along on some of the cast interviews you'll hear the same thing over and over. We all adore Chris. I would have to say that my very favorite thing about Chris as a director, coming from my unique position, is his passion for being true to the source material. He really immersed himself in the Twilight world and came to the set with the feel of it already in his head. We were very much on the same page. Second thing, he listens really well—to everybody, cast and crew.
In comparing New Moon to Twilight, I would say that the biggest difference in style is that Chris is more classic while Catherine is a little more edgy and modern. I wouldn't want both movies to be the same, though. I like seeing different interpretations. After all, no two people see the same thing when they read a novel. I enjoy seeing that visually.
After seeing Twilight the movie you mentioned that you wish you had thought of Bella catching a glimpse of Edward watching her sleep and thinking it was only a dream. Are there any new moments in the New Moon movie that you thought...I wish I had thought of that? Miss having you around the fandom, Nicole B. (Cocoa) Crestwood, KY
Hey Cocoa! I miss you guys, too! Hope you're well!
New Moon stays closer to the novel, so there aren't a lot of scenes that aren't closely related to the book. I am a little sad that my action movie—Crosshairs—is so generically titled. I like the name of the action movie they used for the film (they couldn't use Crosshairs because there is a movie named Crosshairs somewhere out there). It makes me laugh every time Kristen says it.
Also (and I don't consider this a spoiler because you've seen the trailers) there is a bit of a fight sequence in the Volturi tower now that isn't there in the book. At first, I had some resistance to this idea because in my mythology, if you start a fight with the Volturi, your story ends right there. It would have been kind of a bummer to have Edward, Bella, and Alice slaughtered in Volterra and no happy reunion scene (and no Eclipse or Breaking Dawn). But I worked with Melissa Rosenberg (the screen writer) and Summit until we came up with a solution that made sense with the story but also gave them the visual action they needed. And now that it's all put together and beautiful, I love it and kind of wish Felix had gotten his moment in the book.
Hi Stephenie! Texas LOVES you!!! In staying true to the novel, I'd like to know if there were any scenes missing from the original screenplay that you insisted be in the movie?? Thank you SOOO much!!!! -Trinity in Fort Worth
Sort of. In the original screenplay, Jacob's visit to Bella's room that one night didn't exist. The necessary information was still there, it was just scattered through a few other scenes. I really missed that scene, but change (and cutting!) is a part of the adaptation process—especially when you write really long books—so I was prepared to suck it up. And then Chris Weitz felt like we needed that scene, too, and he wrote up a beautiful version I love. And we all lived happily ever after.
I'm curious about whether or not you would have liked to write the screenplay for New Moon or any of the movies? Melissa has done great so far, but do you think the movies would have been any different if you hand a bigger hand in the screenplay? - Colleen
I don't think I'd be any good at adapting my own books. As you can tell, I like to write long stories. I do actually cut a lot in the editing process (Twilight was ten thousand words longer in the rough draft form), and what stays all feels absolutely vital to me. I just can't look at it objectively. I think I'd be better at adaption if I had some distance from the work. So yes, the movies would be different if I'd written the screenplay—they would be six hours long, which might sound great to some people, but as such they never would have been made.
Hi Stephenie - What is your favourite scene in New Moon the movie? - Laure
I can't really choose just one. I love so many things. Bella's and Edward's first conversation in the parking lot...the painting...Jessica's monologue...the scenes in Jacob's garage...the first time you see the werewolves!!...Jacob in Bella's room (thanks, Chris!)...the underwater moment...what you see while Thom Yorke's amazing song is playing...everything in Italy...and I could go on. It's all so good.
Hi Stephenie, I know that your writing is inspired a lot by the music you listen to, so my question is how much say did you have in the music that was picked for the movie/soundtrack? Thank you! - Marci P.
Not a ton. I had a short wish list, and I got one wish out of the four, and that's really a lot when you think about it. My answered wish: a Muse song. My wishes that were not granted: a Blue October song, a Marjorie Fair song, and a Motion City Soundtrack song. All of these artists were a big part of the New Moon writing process for me, and I would have liked to see them included, but in the end, the soundtrack is truly amazing, so I don't have any complaints.
Do you make any appearances in the New Moon movie? - Mandy, Captain of Official Team Jacob
Nope. I felt really awkward doing the first one, and I still have to cover my eyes for that part of the movie. I decided this time I didn't want to do anything like that, and it never came up, so problem averted!
What do you think about the casting of Robert Pattinson as Edward, i.e. does he look like you expected Edward to look like and does he portray the right emotions? - Carly, Captain of Official Team Edward
Initially—as in when Gillian (the producer) called me and said, "So, we're going to cast this guy, Robert Pattison. Go google him and see what you think!"—my opinion was that Rob would do a good version of Edward physically. Not the Edward I see in my head, of course, but a good and interesting portrayal. There's something otherworldly about his face, I thought as I watched him in Harry Potter and checked out the pictures on line. If vampires really existed, that's the kind of face you might wonder about, right? So I was happy with Catherine Hardwicke's choice, because it's not like we were going to find someone who looked like the person in my brain.
I continued in this same opinion for a while. I met with Rob a few times and was impressed by the amount of thought that he was putting into the character (though we still don't entirely agree on who's got Edward's emotional state right—Rob contends Edward is more depressed than I think he is) and I was excited to see what his version of Edward would be like. Cut to a few weeks later, when I headed up to Portland to watch the filming. And then Catherine said action, and Rob shifted into character and my jaw dropped open.
Suffice it to say, he really nailed it. He's not playing a version of Edward, he's playing Edward. There is still quite a difference between Rob's Edward and the Edward in my head, but there are moments when they look eerily similar. I'm still not sure how he does it, but I'm glad he can. As for emotions, I think he does a great job.
Of course, a lot of the credit for this goes to Kristen as well. She contributes the other half of that Bella-Edward vibe so amazingly well. I've been on set through three movies now, and I still thank my lucky stars every day that she signed on to this franchise.
How did you come up with the Twilight character names, were they random or did you have a reason behind them? - Carly
I'm not a huge research junkie, because I'm always more into creating the fantasy than the reality, but names are one of the things I do spend some research time on. For example, for Jasper's name I searched roll calls for the confederate army in Texas. Both "Jasper" and "Whitlock" are on those lists, but not together. The name Cullen exists on seventeenth century English headstones. Other names I find by time and place of birth—I look through the most baby popular names from that year or census records from that city. Some things are more random; if I'm really stuck for a surname, I'll flip through the phone book. For Edward, I wanted a name that had once been very romantic, but had fallen out of use (See: Edward Rochester, Edward Ferrars). Bella was the hardest for me to name, because I needed a modern name but nothing seemed to encompass her personality. I tried a lot of things that didn't fit at all. In the end, having just surrendered the hope of ever having a daughter, I gave her the name I would have given one of my children if any of them had decided to be a girl.
Since many of us will not have the opportunity to visit a movie set, what part of film making was fascinating to you? Thanks again for the opportunity to ask questions! It is appreciated! Anny
The most fascinating thing about filming is probably just what a huge undertaking it is. I'm constantly stunned by the sheer number of people it takes, by the size of the sets, by the intricate planning necessary. It's surprising to me that given all the effort and expense necessary, so many movies even get made. I love the care that goes into the set design, and the amazing things they can build (like tower interiors and mountain tops). I love watching the actors make dozens of minute shifts for each take of a scene, so that the director has a variety to work with when he starts cutting it together. I love it when everything comes together just right and even on the tiny little monitor, with no music and no editing, you can see that something exceptional just happened. It's a cool process, and one I never expected to have the opportunity to be involved with.
Of course, being on set is not constant excitement by any means. It takes hours to set up for each different camera angle, and during those times, it's pretty dead. On the last set, a bunch of people learned to knit. It can be very slow.
I am curious, when you think of Edward and Bella, or read or talk about them, do you still picture the people from your dream? Or has your images of these characters changed over time, especially now after seeing your books adapted to film? Thanks! Danyeal J.
When I read the books or think about the characters in a writing scenario, I still see them they way I first did. I can still see exactly what they looked like in that first dream. When I'm reading the script, however, it's all Kristen and Rob and Taylor.
Why in the world is Edward's volvo now black in the New Moon? - Kim B.
This wasn't my call. Picky as I am about cars, if I'd been rounding up the vehicles for Twilight, they all would have been the exact makes and models I'd written about (especially that '53 Chevy!). I don't know what all is involved with choosing the cars—I know they have to be able to get their hands on several identical vehicles—but I can say that I like this Volvo—the XC90—better than the first one—the C30. In regards to the color, it's actually a dark silver, not black. And I enjoy the black rims quite a bit.
Dear Stephenie, Each director brings something different to the movie they are working on. Do you feel that by using different directors for each movie will take away from the continuity of the story? - Shannon
As I said before, I like having new styles for each story. I think it reflects, to an extent, all the millions of different versions that exist in the world—a different one for every reader. As for continuity, I think we're fine there. The actors bring the same characters into the new vision, and the backdrop of the location is consistent.
Will New Moon the movie have a lot of Edward in it or will it be like the book and he will be missing for a big chunk of it? - Patricia M.
Something I felt very strongly about was that Edward's absence was essential to keeping the feel of the movie consistent with the feel of the book. The story doesn't work without the missing hero. Chris was able to come up with a way to preserve that feeling while at the same time conveying the fact that to Bella, Edward is always present. It's more than just that Bella's audio hallucinations are now visual hallucinations; Kristen's performance revolves beautifully around that absence. Edward is absent for a "big chunk" of the movie, but he's always there, too.
What does Stephenie think about the change of Edward from an auditory to a visual hallucination? For me this was an integral part of the book in that it added to the longing for Edward. - Karen M.
I think this change is necessary for the visual format, and I also think it works really well. The longing is still there.
Dearest Stephenie, I was wondering if you had given the actors in the movie some kind of advice to get a better insight to their character in the movie. Thank you so much for everything! You're amazing! - Lucila S.
I was able to give Rob the first half of Midnight Sun to help him prepare for the first film, and I feel like that manuscript is basically a guide to Edward. Of course, Kristen gets Bella's first person perspective in all the books. I have discussed most of the characters with the actors. I'm always happy to answer any questions, and it's fun to hear some of the backstories they come up with. I know Edi Gathegi has a fairly elaborate Laurent history in his head, and many others do the same thing. I like that they get into the roles so deeply.
Is there going to be a Breaking Dawn movie? If you are not sure of that, then do you wish there is going to be one? - Jamie C.
At this point in time, we're in talks. I would love to see BD made if it could be made well. It's a little bit trickier than the others.
First, thanks for the amazing books! Now, with the question: If you could live one scene (for real) in the movie, what would it be? - Anna
I think a lot of the scenes that are exciting write or to read about or watch on the screen would be very uncomfortable to experience first hand. The ones I would want to live would be the quieter scenes. In New Moon, probably the only scenes that would actually be fun to live would be Bella's birthday up to the papercut, and the night after Italy (though that one starts out pretty emotionally painful, too). Twilight, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn all have a lot more "it would be cool to be Bella right now" moments.
I love your books, thanks for writing them. What was your favorite memory of writing new moon and filming new moon!! - Christina B.
I have a lot of favorite moments from both. In the writing, envisioning Volterra and putting Bella into that situation was very exciting. I loved spending time with Jacob's character. All the interactions with the boys in the pack made me smile. The reunion scene between Bella and Edward felt really good to write.
As for the filming process, my favorite memories are not exactly favorite scenes, because you don't entirely get a sense of the scene until you see it cut together. I loved walking into the Volturi tower for the first time. (Adding to that moment was the fact that it was also the first time I met Daniel Cudmore. Picture the scene: I'm in this huge white marble rotunda, just in awe of the sheer size and how good it all looks, when through the door walks Daniel in full costume. Six foot eight, tailored black coat, deep red eyes. Totally perfect and totally intimidating. It was great!) Another favorite memory of the filming was watching Michael Sheen work. Michael is a staggeringly talented actor. It was an education just to watch his process.
I was wondering, in the trailers for New Moon, the werewolves all have tattoos on their right arms. What does that stand for? It wasn't in the book, so I wasn't sure. - Carissa S.
Like the Cullen crest that Catherine invented for the first movie, I believe the tattoo is just a visual sign of solidarity for the pack.
Do you think Taylor Lautner does a good job of portraying Jacob's smart alec side? Taylor seems so sweet, especially in the first movie, and I like to think of Jake (esp werewolf Jake) as a tough guy with an attitude, who sometimes let his nice side slip. Thank you! Larissa
Taylor is going to surprise you. He's wonderful as the sweet kid, but even better as the angry werewolf. The kid can act.
I was wondering what made you choose Italy for the home of the Volturi? Is there a special meaning about Italy in your life or was it a random setting? Thanks :] - Kerry K.
I chose Italy because I needed a place with a really long history. Choosing Volterra itself was a strange thing. I wrote the whole Volturi scene before I'd picked a location for it. For the first time, I was planning to create a fictional city, because at this point, I was starting to realize that people were actually going to read this book, and I was nervous about what the real life citizens of Forks would think, and more especially what the real life people of La Push would think—I'd taken some rather big liberties with their fictional history, and I wasn't sure if they would find it amusing or irritating. So, to avoid similar moments of panic, I decided to set my clan of ancient ruling vampires in a made up place. I was going to call this place "Volturin," and I knew it needed to be located in Tuscany about an hour or two from Florence—I'd already written the drive from the airport. I'd also already written my descriptions of the plaza and clock tower and Volturi turret. So I pull up a map of Tuscany, trying to decide if Alice should drive north, south, east, or west, and look at that—there is a city named Volterra just about an hour from Florence. So I google image search Volterra, and the very first picture that comes up is the Volterra clock tower. Chills. I called my sister (who'd already read about my fictional Volturin) and told her to go look at Volterra. She freaked, too, because she'd pictured it the same way, too. It was actually a rather creepy moment.
After that, I gave up the idea of creating a fake city and just hoped the people of Volterra did not mind a few vampires. When I went to visit a few years back, all the people I talked to were totally fine with the vampires—what had upset them was the fountain. They don't have one, and think their square is perfect without it.
Hello Mrs.Stephenie Meyer, I adore your books. My question is where did you get the inspiration to make Jacob Black a Native American? What is the whole back-story to Jacob being Native American? I too am native American [Navajo] by the way, therefore making me curious. Thank you very much if you answer my question or not, you still bring a great story to your readers around the world. - Kristine B.
There was a bit of random chance involved with including the Quileutes, but it was also about my personal fascination with Native American history. I picked Forks first, and at that point in time the Jacob character didn't exist. But around the same time that I realized it would be out of character for Edward to be able to admit that he was a vampire, I discovered the existence of La Push and started reading about the Quileute's unique history and culture. Jacob developed really naturally from that research, as a solution to my "how does Bella find out" dilemma and also as a way to enrich the mythology. If I hadn't always been very intrigued with Native American history, though, I don't know if the proximity of La Push would have resulted in Jacob's creation.
I love that you decided to skip over describing that first week (and the following months) after the break-up between Edward and Bella. It makes it that much more gut-wrenching because you truly feel like Bella was detached from herself and the world. I was wondering if it was your initial intent to leave that void there or did you edit anything out? Did you start by writing how she felt the next morning after Sam found her? I always wonder if it was just too hard to write for you. Thank you so much for answering these questions for us. Your books (The Host, too) have changed my life. --Eden S., Vancouver, Washington
This is how the blank pages came about: I never planned to write about the time immediately after Edward left. Originally, I just skipped to the one-paragraph preface to chapter four ("Time passes..."). It felt way too abrupt that way, though. I knew I didn't want to put those four months into words, because the words would never be as good as the reader's own imagination, but I wasn't sure how to make that transition feel right. So put some blank pages into the document to separate September from January. That felt a little bit better, but the passage of time still wasn't clear. I typed in the names of the months at the top of the pages, just playing around with it, so it looked like blank journal entries, and instantly felt a sense of rightness to that format. I think I tried it out on my agent first ("What do you think about having one-word pages, Jodi?") and she liked it. Then my editor played around with the formatting, putting the month names in the center of the page in caps, and that gave them more impact. We all loved it. So it was a process and not an immediate inspiration, but now it's one of my favorite things.
I am a 39-year-old member of the Older Women's Group (OWG) on thetwilightsaga.com. My question is, what lead you to the concept of IMPRINTING — in reference to the Wolf Packs future mates? Thank you for pouring your heart and soul into this series! I can't tell you how much happiness it has brought me! Sincerely, Stephanie R. - Atlanta, GA
Imprinting was inspired by two different sources: ducklings and dragons. Imprinting actually exists in nature, but usually between parents and their offspring. I saw a nature documentary about ducklings imprinting on their moms and it always stuck with me. The other inspiration is Anne McCaffrey's dragon books (which, if you haven't read them, do so now! Start with Dragonflight). In her mythology, humans and dragons bond so tightly that if one of them dies, the other either suicides or goes mad. They love each other with an absolute and unreasoning love that never falters or changes. I was always captivated by this concept, and I wanted to explore that kind of life-changing and compulsory relationship.
While writing the books, were you ever unsure of whether Bella would choose Edward or Jacob, or did you always know she would end up with Edward in the end? - Samantha V.
I wrote New Moon and Eclipse after I wrote Forever Dawn, which is pretty much the rough draft of Breaking Dawn. So I always knew Bella's destiny was with Edward, and as her relationship with Jacob evolved and deepened through the course of the middle novels, writing about it was sometimes painful. Even knowing Jacob's eventual happy ending, it was hard to put him through all the heartbreak. I do know what would have happened if Bella hadn't jumped off the cliff that day, but I always knew that was a could-have-been that wasn't the right way to go.
Question: Lets say Bella did go to college... Later on in life what profession do you imagine for her?? - Abigail
I always imagined that Bella would someday teach. She really admired that one part of Renee's personality—Renee may be dippy, but she's a great teacher and the kids love her—and I saw her taking her love of books in that direction. She would have taught older students, though. High school or college. Maybe she still will—in night school.
Out of the entire series, to you what is the most romantic moment between Bella and Edward? Why? - twilight-fan
For me, it's always been the last two pages of Breaking Dawn. It's the culmination of so much that's happened between them, and such a happy, satisfying moment for me.
My question for you is.... are you at all surprised by the variety in age of your readers? I am 32 years old and absolutely loved your books, and I know I am not alone, in many discussion groups I have found there are 30, 40, even 50 somethings reading twilight. Thanks and keep writing! - Amy B.
Because I wrote Twilight for my twenty-nine-year-old self and not for a future YA audience, it always made sense to me that women my age would get it the same way I did. Are you ever too old to remember falling in love for the first time?
There are many of us 30+ that enjoy (well we are actually obsessed with) the entire Twilight series! Is there anything that you do to help you escape reality momentarily? - Michelle P., Oklahoma
Reading was always my favorite escape. I read a lot of fantasy; I like spending time in worlds that don't exist. However, writing is now my best escape. For me, it's more fulfilling and takes me farther away from the real world than reading does.
You have such a great taste in music. What would be your ultimate karaoke song? - Justina
This one changes a lot. Today, I'd want to sing along with Metric, probably "Sick Muse" or "Front Row."
If you had to choose, would you rather be a vampire or a werewolf? - Kaitlin T.
Werewolf. I like being able to change my mind, and the werewolves always have the option to go back to "normal."
Are you writing any other books right now? - Kershia
One of the weirdest things for me about success is how it sucks away your time. I'm successful because I write books, but that very success takes all my writing time! It's very frustrating. I'm just itching to get back into a fantasy world right now, but the real world won't let me. I thought this would be a writing year, but unless you count emails as writing, it didn't work out that way. I was able to do a few smaller things that will show up here and there—an extra chapter for the release of The Host in paperback, that kind of thing. I've really worked to clear my time, but that is a slow and ongoing process. Of course, another aspect is that I am more burned out by the last five years than I even realized.
My question: Is Stephenie Team Jacob or Team Edward? Please add that "I am a huge fan. Xoxo, Jenny"
I am Team "You Don't Have to Choose When it's Fiction."
Hi Stephenie! :) Of course, I love the Twilight saga, but I was also blown away by how beautiful and unique your other novel, The Host, was -- so I was wondering: do you have any plans for more books not related to Twilight? Thank you so much! :) Kelly <3>
I'd like to eventually have The Host be part of a trilogy. That's one of the projects I'd really like to get to in the next year or so.
To address the many, many questions about Midnight Sun:
I've found that there really isn't any answer I can give that changes the substance or tenor of the myriads of requests, pleadings, and demands I get for Midnight Sun to be finished, so I feel a little silly answering that question at all. But it's the most popular question, so I'll take another stab at it.
I am not working on Midnight Sun now. I don't have a plan for when I'll get to it; I don't know now what the right time for it will be.
In your questions, there were some erroneous conclusions about the situation which I'll try to set straight. First, Midnight Sun is not finished and locked in a safe, waiting for me to be done angsting over the leak. If it were done, I would be throwing it on the bookstore shelves myself. I'd love to be able to give it to all the people who are anxiously waiting for it. Second, I am not upset about the leak. I haven't been for a long time; I was over it after about three weeks. Third, and most important, I am not trying to punish anyone. Not the persons who leaked it, not the people who read the leak, nobody. As I said, it would make me very happy to be able to give it to anyone who wants it.
So why the hold up? Because it's not finished and lying in a safe. It's not done, and finishing it is not a simple matter of sitting down in front of my computer and typing out the words; the words have to be there in my head to type out, and right now, they're not. I have to be in the zone to write any story, and trying to force myself into that zone is a waste of time, I've found. I'll get back to Midnight Sun when the story is compelling to me again. Just because people want it so badly does not make it more write-able; kind of the opposite, actually. I need to be alone with a story to write, and Midnight Sun feels really crowded, if you know what I mean.
People write for different reasons. I have always written to make myself happy. If I'm enjoying a story, feeling the creativity flow, engrossed in a world, then I write and I write fast. If I'm not into it, I can't write. I've never been someone who writes on demand and I can't imagine working that way. As cool as it would be to say to my favorite author, "You know, I'd really like to read a great book about a narwhal mafia. Write that for me, 'kay?" or even "I'd love a sequel to that last one," that's not how it works. How it works is that my favorite author writes a new book about whatever he/she is interested in. Maybe it takes a year, maybe it takes five. If it's something I want to read, I buy it or I check it out at the library. If not, I find something else to read. The end.
(All of this goes for writing about vampires in general, too. Vampires and I? We're on a break.)
I'm pretty sure this won't slow the pleadings and the demands, but I didn't want you to think I was ignoring the question.
In the meantime, there are so many great books out there. I've got some recommendations on my site, and any librarian would love to show you more options. Same goes for independent bookstore employees. Ask for guidance, and they will fill your arms with awesomeness!
Our close friends and family were all here to celebrate our engagement, but for me, as happy as I was to know that I would spend the rest of my life with Daniel, I found myself unable to completely relax and unwind.
Daniel came towards me, the first of a few occasions I had seen him throughout the entire evening, and came closer until he was standing in front of me. He kissed me on the lips, a long, lingering kiss, so much so that for the seconds that his lips touched mine, I had fallen completely unawares to everything else that was going on in the room. Nothing else was important - besides this moment, until he parted his lips slowly, however still keeping his head aligned with mine as he looked at me.
I smiled and he wrapped me up in a hug, and I felt slowly comforted and safe as his entire body wrapped around me.
I could hear a vibrating noise coming from somewhere, and I looked at Daniel to see him turn away from me quickly, a smile still on his face as he turned to answer it, eager to get whoever it was off the phone so he could concentrate on the dinner party, and having read the anguish in my face, I could see he was pained at not being able to give me his full, undivided attention. As Daniel spoke quickly into the phone, his facial expression turned all too quickly from one of contentment to panic stricken and I could see that every contour on his face was filled with tension. His eyes angrily darted from side to side slowly as he started to look around the room, obviously trying to locate someone quickly, without having much luck. He turned his back towards everybody else in the room who were happily talking animatedly amongst themselves, and slowly put his phone back into his pocket.
During this time, I had walked away from him and was across the other side of the room talking and reminiscing with Winona about our happy times together, neither of us having much time on our hands to spend with each other, my time largely being taken up with endless hours down at the studio, or with Daniel.
Daniel looked at me, a look of grief and tortured pain in his eyes, and before I knew what was happening, he had made his way through the crowd of people and was by my side. "Stacie.... I...." Daniel trailed off quickly, before he hesitated, not knowing what to say, and being unable to put his feelings into words.
His lips crushed down on mine as if this would be the last time he would ever kiss me, strongly and passionately. My lips couldn't help but respond, and as the kiss came to an end, he pulled away from me, before he grabbed my hand and walked away from the centre of the room, pulling me back into the shadows.
"What's going on?"
"We can't do this. I can't do this to you. You don't belong here. I just don't see how this is going to work anymore."
"Don't make this harder than it has to be." He said, his tone suddenly changing to one of coldness and indifference.
"I don't understand.... What are you trying to say?"
"I need to go away for a while." He said, before pausing, wondering what had been said on the phone, failing to understand his sudden demeanour.
"Right, well, I'll come with you. I'll talk to the production team, and my understudy, and.... " He looked at me, his eyes on my face as if he could see right through to my soul.
"When you say you need to go away for a while, you mean alone, don't you?"
"Yes..." he paused as he looked at me, his eyes never straying from my face. "I don't want you to come with me."
"I know you don't mean that... why are you doing this? I belong with you, you know that." He looked at me, his face expressionless. There was no way to tell what he was thinking. Not now.
"You were right. Grief brought us back to each other. Not love. That was all that we had left - and we used that, thinking it would be enough to try and make this work, to mend our scars. But it's not. I need something else - something different. Not this. Not now. Not ever again. Do you understand me?" He said. I could see him holding back every single emotion that he was feeling from his face, from his voice. He wanted me to see him as completely devoid and cold - but I was beyond that - I knew that every word he spoke was killing him - none of this made any sense, if he loved me as much as he said he did, why was it so easy for him to convince me that he now felt nothing? Anger surged through me as I grabbed his arm, stopping him in his tracks as he started to walk away from me.
"You can't even say the words properly... look.... you're shaking!"
"This will be the last time we ever see each other. I can't go through all of this again. I just think it's the right thing to do."
"Look, I know things have been hard... we've been through so much. What happened with Sonja... the pregnancy.... everything... it's nothing."
"Yes, you're right, it was nothing. Nothing than what I already expected. I don't feel anything for you anymore. You mean nothing to me."
"I love you." I said, grabbing his arm to restrain him from leaving.
"Promise me.... " he said, looking at me one last time before turning away from me. "Just promise me that you won't come and find me. Don't try and get in contact. I just can't have you in my life."
I looked at him, unable to breathe, as he stepped away from me and back into the spotlight of the room, where the light was the brightest. I could see he was choked up, struggling to even speak, as he slowly cleared his throat and addressed the rest of our close family and friends who had gathered here for us in celebration.
"Hi everyone. Thank you so much for coming tonight. It means a lot to both myself and Stacie. I hope you've enjoyed yourselves, but I'm afraid I have to make an early exit." Daniel said as he looked around at all of the apprehensive faces staring back at him.
I struggled to smile and nod my head in thank yous and goodbyes, and I looked up to catch a glimpse of Jude staring back at me, a puzzled and confused look on his face, as I nodded and gave him a small smile, the same as everybody else. I knew that he was aware that something was wrong, but I could barely stand up let alone speak more than 3 words.
Finally, the room was empty as I stood in the doorway, my feet sliding to the floor as my legs gave way.
I put my head in my hands amongst my tears and tried to work out what had happened in the last 10 minutes of my life. All of a sudden I looked up, hearing movements from just outside the door. The door opened and I saw a silhouette appear from out of nowhere, still covered by the shadows. The figure emerged slowly as they walked into the light and as I looked up again, Sonja Stone appeared in front of me and looked down at me unsympathetically, with Daniel by her side, her hand twirling playfully in his as she wore a pitying look on her face.
"Bet you never thought you'd see me again, did you?" She said, looking down at me with a cold look in her eyes, unblinking, her face set in stone.
I didn't even have the energy to speak, and as I looked at Daniel, he turned away from me, his eyes tortured and full of pain.
"Now that you have what you want, I think you should leave." I said, looking up at the both of them from underneath my lashes.
Sonja gave me a cruel, wicked smile and turned her back towards me to leave, taking Daniel with her.
Before she could do so, Daniel broke away from her suddenly, letting go of her hand and walking quickly towards me, kneeling down to where I was and grabbing my hand, his hands running through my hair slowly and along every contour on my face.
"Promise me, just promise me... stay away from Sonja." He said, getting up to leave and turning away from me.
I closed my eyes, for a split second, and something inside of me hoped that I wouldn't wake up.
One of the things that make me happy are truly great books that you can completely fall in love with, so far in love that you get through the book in days and are truly saddened when you come to the last page, unable to convince yourself you will ever find a book just as good that will promise the same feelings of complete escapism and euphoria experienced. Bookworm that I am, filled with 'booksense and no common sense', finding books that really stimulate you are hard to find, and nothing is better than curling up on the sofa with a large blanket, some hot chocolate, and some soft background music and reading a book that you've grown to love, each page well and truly thumbed with eager anticipation of what happens next.
The other thing I love is getting lost in a library or a charity shop. Since the recession has pretty much locked down most of the major chains when it comes to bookshops, they are the next best thing, and there's something that makes it a whole lot sweeter when you find a good couple of books that are truly amazing if they are free and on loan, or pre owned from a charity shop at unbelievable thrifty, gorgeous prices.... For me, nothing's better than taking a lazy sloooow sunday morning to get lost in a [rather large] bookshop, armed with a starbucks coffee for good measure. It makes me look semi intelligent, and in my view, this is never a bad thing.
Saturday, 21 November 2009
[2 Months Later]
I didn't believe in the conviction of my own words, and had to convince myself over and over again that the words I was saying to myself was the truth, and nothing else. I willed myself to go back to sleep, my eyelids getting heavier with each passing minute, and finally, I closed my eyes and tried to close my mind to all my thoughts and feelings, telling myself my body just needed to sleep.
I woke up again in the middle of the night. Anxious and jittery as I stared up at the ceiling, wondering why there was a creeping sense of nausea located in the pit of my stomach. I force myself to close my eyes again, and focus on a subject that will successfully lull me back to sleep. I lie awake and think of Daniel. It's hard for him to put into words just how much I mean to him, how much he means to me. It's the little things that make me smile. The way he becomes so happy and contented whenever he's around me, the way that despite me being five foot 9, I still have to stand on tip toe to reach his lips, to kiss him.
I move my leg slightly, and between the tangled sheets I can feel his leg propped up beside mine as his head is turned away from me, his body rigid and completely still, the room absolutely silent.
I open my eyes again and look through the window to the right of me. Through the gossamer-like thin curtains, I can see the sun starting to rise, and I wonder if today will be any different to the blissful ones beforehand.
I start to move around restlessly in the bed, making enough noise for Daniel to stir and shift as he lies in the bed beside me. But what I get from him is nothing; nothing even close to a reaction, or even a slight indication that he is starting to wake up. I look at him again, a smile pulling at the corners of my mouth subconsciously. I put a hand on his shoulder but he doesn't move. I reach over, and my hands slide underneath the tangled mess of sheets towards him as I start to tap him again on his arm, but he doesn't respond. I sit up on my knees as I turn him towards me as he is laying on his side, and slowly I see his body start to move.
His body is completely still, and his eyes are open, but glazed over and entirely white, covering over his dark brown pupils. His face is expressionless, and my hands start to run frantically over his face, searching for any sign of life. My fingers trail down to his arm, running my hand back and forth to find out that his arms, his stomach - his entire body is cold, devoid of life. I move back, away from him and I take big deep breaths as my eyes start to fill with tears, unable to hold them in any longer. I look over at him again and my mouth lets out a long, loud scream as I bury my face into my pillow, before I wake up.
I shifted in my bed uncomfortably. I was all too aware of the sheen of sweat that now coated my body due to my occasional nightmares, but this went unnoticed by Daniel as he continued to cuddle up next to me, making me aware that he was next to me, alive, and that everything was going to be OK.
"Something like that." I said, as I started to feel restless and uneasy, images from my nightmare finding their way back to me all too quickly for me to completely dismiss them.
Daniel got up, and now perched on his knees, held me softly to him as he kissed the top of my head, his hands in mine, as he turned my face to look at him.
Could my dreams be a sign of something? Maybe my nightmares were foretelling what was to come? If that was the case, how much longer would we stay like this - how long would I have left to touch his face, to hear his voice, before it was all too late?
"Listen to me...." Daniel said, keeping his eyes locked on my face as he held my hands in his, stroking my palms softly as I listened to the birds outside whilst I waited for him to speak. He leaned in closer as his lips touched mine very softly.
"I love you. You are goofy...cute....philosophical...intelligent...warm...beautiful... and the toughest woman I know. Nothing bad is going to happen. To either of us. You're my heart, and I won't let you go, not even if you want me to." He said, giving me a wink and a soft smile, and my heart couldn't help but melt as his lips brushed softly against mine.
Thursday, 19 November 2009
This post in particular focuses on the music videos that I have connected with in terms of their creativity and the story that they choose to tell, and the three videos in particular that I have chosen, are part of what inspired me to tell Stacie and Daniel's story in the way that I have so far.
I hope you enjoy them, and if you have any questions, comments, or anything you want to say, feel free to comment on here, on twitter, on facebook, or you can now find me at http://www.suganet.info too!
1. Song: ["Halo"] Artist: Beyonce Album: I am...Sasha Fierce 
This video, shot alongside actor Michael Ealy, would sum up Stacie and Daniel's relationship in a nutshell. They really do love each other, and I thought this was an excellent video to show this, as instead of big, grand gestures of love, Beyonce describes to showcase the song sentimentally by focusing on all the small things that couples in a relationship usually take for granted and should spend more time appreciating.
_Mya_ | MySpace Video
2. Song: ["I Want You"] Artist: Common Album: Finding Forever 
This video, shot by Common, shows a dinner party attended by guests which include the likes of Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Serena Williams, & Derek & Sophia Luke. The video also stars Actress Kerry Washington who co-directed the video along with main director Sanji Senaka - depicts two women [Keys and Washington] who harbor feelings for the rap artist. With Keys starring as his girlfriend, it would seem the two are in a state of homely bliss in their comfort zone with friends, in the throng of a successful dinner party, however their happiness has not gone unnoticed by Washington, who plays Common's ex girlfriend, who decides to break into the dinner party, unannounced.
Although I had already written the 'triangle', this video would have been an inspiration to me, and I could definetely relate what I had written in my drafts to the premise and storyline of this video.
3. Song: ["Lost Without You"] Artist: Robin Thicke Album: The Evolution of Robin Thicke 
This song represents an equal balance of love and lust. I think that in today's modern world and society, we always overuse the word 'Love' using it as an almost everyday reference or term without even thinking about what it really means, such as "I love those pair of shoes." We don't take the time to find out if we really love that one pair of shoes, is it love, is it lust, is it infatuation, or something else entirely different? In my opinion, we should start lusting after a lot more things, and let's be honest, a little bit of lust never really hurt anybody.
Again, this is one I would use to once again describe Stacie and Daniel - most probably in the early stages of their relationship.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
For me, Zadie Smith is one of those rare finds when it comes to intriguing, fictitious literature. Having changed her name from 'Sadie' to 'Zadie' in order to give her more of an exotic edge, Zadie quickly impressed the literary world and blew away her critics with her debut novel 'White Teeth' which was quickly followed on by her sophomore effort 'The Autograph Man', and most recently, her third novel, 'On Beauty', no doubt one of her best yet, with its intricate yet very real, no holds back intimate portrayals of each individual character and their role within the dysfunctional Belsey family.
Having taken a hiatus to pursue lecturing and teaching at prestigious Universities in America, including Columbia and New York Universities, and a quick edit of the book published last year, 'The Book of Other People', Zadie is back with her own collection of essays, called 'Changing My Mind' in which she gives her own, frank view on everything from Middlemarch to Will Smith, calling him 'A waste of space.' And from her own insights into how she views the world as well as highlighting her undulated passion in her love for books, it seems Miss Smith is never sated and satisfied until she tries or makes people aware to her particular way of thinking, and it would seem that in this book, she does so, in such a delectable way that I can't wait to read it.
Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays
Published: 26th November 2009
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton LTD, Hardback, 330 Pages
Although I would love to hate her, I secretly heart Kristen Stewart. She's a pretty good actress, has a cool personality where nothing, and I mean nothing seems to phase her, and she's proven she can pull off a dark black short mullet hairstyle whilst rocking out to the sounds of Joan Jett and still look good.... plus, if she gets to do this everyday......with these two....... then she's pretty darn lucky!! Plus, she happens to be a little bit of a style icon. Not only can she pull off pretty edgy outfits, [black leather skirts with spikes coming out everywhere = fierce!] but since her promotion with the boys kicked off for New Moon earlier this month, Miss Stewart has definitely been wearing many lovely dresses that truly bring to light just how versatile her fashion sense really is. Although she swears that she lives in 'Jeans and T-shirts' and doesn't really 'look at what she wears' this particular attitude towards clothes seems to be on some sort of hiatus for the moment.... and I like it! :-)
Her favourite Jeans are from favourite denim label 'Rock & Republic' but she also mixes and matches these casual ensembles with more high end pieces, wearing Designers such as Herve Leger, House of Lavande, Jason Wu, Valentino, Oscar De La Renta, Elizabeth & James, Yigal Azrouel, Proenza Schouler, Sergio Rossi, J Mendel, and Jimmy Choo. Take a look at how Kristen rocks these dresses in her cool, calm, laid back demeanour - What do you think??
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
So, this week, my picks for Books Of The Week are:
1. New Moan [The Twishite Saga - A Twilight Parody] - Stephfordy Mayo
'I want to bite you, Heffa. I want to bite you very hard. I'll be gentle, I promise. If you really loved me, you'd let me.' Heffa Lump is just a typical, pale and interesting seventeen-year-old, who doubts that anyone will ever see her true beauty. But then she moves to Spatula and meets Teddy Kelledy, an impossibly gorgeous boy who eats rare meat, is super-strong and never goes out in sunlight. Could he, just maybe - be a vampire? (Hint: totally.) A tale of first love, painful longing and even more painful pointy teeth, "New Moan" is a hilarious parody of the phenomenon that is Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga.
Published: 22nd October 2009
Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books LTD
2. My Non-Fiction Pick is: Push - A novel by Sapphire
Precious is a 16-year-old who has never left Harlem. Her story is one of neglect and abuse and a fierce determination to acquire an education. Pregnant by her own father, she is forced to leave school. Her defences and her world unravel as she struggles to gain control of her own life. The book has been made into a film due for release this year and stars Mo'nique, Paula Patton, and Mariah Carey. See the Trailer below.
Published: 5th February 1998
Let's face it, when trying out anything remotely 'Vamp', it's always going to look cool, whether its having a new Blood Red lipstick or releasing your inner dark side. So when it comes to making Literature look insanely good again, Stephenie Meyer and Charlaine Harris have proven themselves as undeniable forces to be reckoned with. Over the past year, Twilight and True Blood have been an inspiration to many fields in more ways than one. Repeatedly at the top of the best selling lists and having international and world acclaim, it seems that both Harris and Meyer can do no wrong, as the world waits with baited breath for their next book releases.
Having read The Twilight Saga and endured being depressed at having finished all 4 books so quickly, I am now reading 'Dead Until Dark' by Charlaine Harris, the first in the Sookie Stackhouse series, her latest being a collection of short stories involving the feisty protagonist, meant for readers who 'want to have every last sip of Sookie' entitled 'A Touch Of Dead.'
Although I haven't finished the book yet, True Blood is no picnic and is a world away from the slight fantasy element that The Twilight Saga manages to retain. With Harris, you really do get the impression that Vampires do [and very well could] live in Southern America, or any part of the world. Whereas Meyer, who was brought up a Mormon, whose protagonists Edward and Bella do not sleep together until the fourth and last book, Breaking Dawn, Harris does not hold back when it comes to describing physical relationships. In the series, Bill Compton, vampiric lover of small time 'disabled' waitress Sookie Stackhouse, tells Sookie on a regular basis just how much he lusts, as well as loves her, and Harris takes a delightful thrill in throwing in the 'fuck' word, just to make things that bit more twisted, and slightly darker.
Both of the Series are must reads, and for anyone who hasn't caught on to this growing phenomonon should probably do some serious catching up. Although Harris' series is longer by several books, they should be well worth reading. Both of the narrative voices provide a pull which draws the reader in and takes hold quickly, so that once you start reading, it becomes quite difficult to stop.
For all of their similarities, the worlds of Twilight and True Blood are innately different, and can be seen very obviously when reading the books. The subsequent films and TV series surrounding them have done a great job in keeping to the stories themselves, and have chosen to compromise on almost little to nothing, which shows just how strong the books are in providing excellent blueprints.
For any of you who were wondering just how different the two vampire franchises really are, True Blood actor Stephen Moyer recently described character Edward Cullen, and not Robert Pattinson, fellow english actor, as the following: "[He's a] Pussy. He's the Slim-Fast, Diet Coke of Vampires."
Whatever you think, make sure you read the books [FIRST!] and then, if you like what you've read, take a look at the TV shows. Even if you hate the books, the films and TV shows are still thoroughly recommended purely because of the predominantly hot eye candy. Seriously. Freaking. Hot. Stuff.
The Sookie Stackhouse Series [Gollancz/Orion Books - £6.99] is as follows:
1. Dead Until Dark
2. Living Dead In Dallas
3. Club Dead
4. Dead To The World
5. Definitely Dead
6. Dead As A Doornail
7. From Dead To Worse
8. All Together Dead
9. Dead and Gone
10. A Touch Of Dead [Short Stories, HB, £11.99]
And, for the four people across the globe who missed this, in case you were wondering, The Twilight Saga [Atom Books - £6.99] is as follows:
2. New Moon
4. Breaking Dawn - [HB, £11.99]
Here's the Trailers/clips from the upcoming The Twilight Saga: New Moon/ True Blood Series 2
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Another music post from me :-) As I'm sure you all know, or some of you may know, that Amelle is out of Rehab from Germany and back in the UK with the other 'Babes, Heidi Range and Jade Ewen. Even though the official release date for their album 'Sweet 7' has been pushed back until March 2010, their brand new single 'About A Girl' is ready and available to download on itunes and is currently at No.6 - make it No.1 by downloading your copy!
In the meantime, as many awesome bands often do, the girls took a trip down to Radio 1 with Jo Whiley to take part in 'Live Lounge' where they acoustically performed new single as well as doing a fantastic cover of Florence + The Machine's 'Rabbit Heart [Raise It Up]' - I love Miss Welch's vocals on the song, as well as loving a couple other tracks from her Mercury Music Prize nominated album 'Lungs' the more I listen to it. The 'Babes version of the song is actually very good, and hopefully it will make the cut for the tracklist when Live Lounge release their next compilation album. What do you think?? Let me know, can't wait to hear from you all!!
Until next time!! xoxo
Monday, 9 November 2009
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months, then I'm sure you will have noticed that 'New Moon' is almost here!!!! Never have I been more excited for a movie to come out since Titanic, and since there are 'Eclipse' and 'Breaking Dawn' to come, natch, then it's even better!! If you can't wait until the official release date of November 20th for the second tantalising treat of the Twilight Saga, then it's time to get your hands on the original motion picture soundtrack at the very least. Now, having listened to the soundtrack, I have to say I do have my reservations and although most of the artists picked for the soundtrack are favourites of mine, the soundtrack as a whole is a grower for me, but its very mellow and idealistic when procrastinating inside the comforts of your bedroom/boudoir or just having as some pretty nice background music. Although I like the soundtrack, the film hasn't been released yet so you do find yourself unable to put the songs into context, although I'm at the stage where I'm guessing where they might fit in. The New Moon Soundtrack does have a hard first soundtrack to live up to with the songs from Twilight having set the intial bar. Another thing that is mildly annoying is I was disappointed to find that the rumours were not true, and in fact, Mr Pattinson does not contribute to the soundtrack as I was sure he would. However, Muse have featured again on this soundtrack, and seem to be going from strength to strength at the moment if their current album 'The Resistance' is also anything to go by. The soundtrack is less commercialized than the first one and is brilliant for showcasing true talent, especially from the likes of Thom Yorke, from Radiohead fame whose song '15 step from the 'In Rainbows' album was featured in the beginning credits of Twilight. Particular favourites for me include 'Meet me on the Equinox' by Deathcab [For Cutie], 'Roslyn' by Bon Iver, [ whose song 'Woods' is awesome, and is featured in E4 teen drama 'Skins' in the UK and is a must-hear], 'Possibility' by Lykke Li ['Little Bit' is also an fantastic song by them] and 'Satellite Heart' by Anya Marina. I love her mellow, husky voice and the melody is really simplistic but enough to get the emotion that is heard throughout the song.
Here is the video below, which I love, and have this particular soundtrack playing constantly.
Just in case you were wondering, here is the official tracklisting for the entire soundtrack, and the video is also featured below. Enjoy!!
1. Meet Me On The Equinox - Death Cab For Cutie
2. Friends - Band Of Skulls
3. Hearing Damage - Thom Yorke
4. Possibility - Lykke Li
5. A White Demon Love Song - The Killers
6. Satellite Heart - Anya Marina
7. I Belong To You [New Moon Remix] - Muse
8. Roslyn - Bon Iver & St Vincent
9. Done All Wrong - Black Rebel Motorcyle Club
10. Monsters - Hurricane Bells
11. The Violet Hour - Sea Wolf
12. Shooting The Moon - OK Go
13. Slow Life [with Victoria Legrand] - Grizzly Bear
14. No Sound But The Wind - Editors
15. New Moon [The Meadow] - Alexandre Desplat
16. Solar Midnite - Lupe Fiasco
17. All I Believe In - The Magic Numbers & Amadou & Mariam
18. Die Fiedermaus - APM Orchestra
'Satellite Heart' Anya Marina
Anya Marina | MySpace Video