Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Oh, Come On!

My Dear Reader,

No, I didn't read the last Twilight book, and I don't plan to. I did, however, recently finish Persuasion. Can we still be friends? I mean, I know. I'm Mormon, and, you know, female. It's a fairly unnatural state that I'm in right now. It's kind of like that time when Star Trek stopped being cool* and I didn't exactly join that bandwagon. Thinking for yourself sure is hard sometimes.

Okay, so maybe I'm sounding a bit snobbish. And maybe I am being slightly critical. I mean, it does seem a little bit like I'm passing judgement on something that I haven't experienced, and I haven't read the books, so I suppose that's at least partially true. But I have heard a lot about those books, and by that I mean that no one around me seems to want to talk about anything else. I'm just not that intrigued by the plot line, and I've got a long list of classics that I never had time to read because I used to be an English major. Classics like Persuasion.

Of course, I have been wondering if there is some secret subconscious reason as to why I haven't read the Twilight series. Could it be because it's so popular, and I tend to shun fads such as this? Could it be that I refuse to read something just because I happen to share a religion with the author? I don't think so. I was so exhausted after initially refusing to automatically endorse Mitt Romney and later realizing he was the only candidate that was actually in it for America that I don't think I'd be so likely to be so biased against myself a second time. And then I got to thinking: what if I'm jealous that Stephanie Meyer got there first? Let me put it this way:

I mean, I was supposed to be the next J. K. Rowling. The Mormon version. I was the one who was going to have record-breaking book sales and be on talk shows where people would remark about how curious it was that I was wearing sleeves. "Oh, and get this," they would all say, "Cecily Jane, the author of that book that is being voraciously read by tens of thousands, is Mormon! Can you believe that a Mormon person could actually do something that wasn't creepy or strange?" And then they would lean in and whisper, "Do you think it's possible that those Mormons weren't really that creepy and strange after all?"

It would have been so darn awesome. Historic, perhaps, especially because female Mormon writers seem to be in short supply. I'd be breaking new ground and what not, but no, I find myself too late. As I stagger into the ground breaking ceremony of the literary world, toting a golden shovel behind me, I find that the whole hulabaloo is over and the only person left is some snot-nosed kid who licks at her lollipop and stares at me as I struggle to catch my breath. But as I pant for air, I have to ask myself, who do I have to blame? Sure, I have a novel in the works, but I've been sitting on it since November, and only talking about it for a lot longer than that. I could have just finished it two years ago, before Twilight got really big, and took my place in the great literary tradition as people remarked on how much my book's success was like that of Harry Potter. Unfortunately, however, Twilight is big, and all of my plans are completely ruined.

I mean, does anyone really want to be the sci-fi Stephanie Meyer? J. K. Rowling was already teetering on the edge of literary respectability, and from what I understand, Stephanie Meyer's style is substantially less . . . classic? Should I even publish at all if I stand the chance of becoming her sci-fi alter-ego? And yes, I do know that I'm being completely ridiculous, since anyone who's published is miles ahead of me at this point. But you should know by now that ridiculous is what I do best.

Anyway, I suppose that I lost the race for Mormon J. K. Rowling, and I suppose that Mrs. Meyer won fair and square. But I still don't want to read her books.

I guess that I'll just have to settle for becoming the female Orson Scott Card.

Regards, best wishes, and foolish dreams,

-Cecily Jane

*Don't you remember how it used to be one of the highest rated television shows of its time? Remember when it was weird when people didn't watch Star Trek? Okay, fine. I'll just go sit in a corner and play a solo game of Three-dimensional Chess so as not to bother you.
**The image belongs to Post Secret, not me. I didn't send it in and I hope they don't sue me, because if they do, I don't even have a shot at being the next Jack Weyland.


Kiki said...

I've read the first three Twilight books, heck I own them! But I'm not about to consider them anything on par with Harry Potter. They may be a big fad, but they are highly unrealistic, simplistically written books. I kinda group them with the cheap romance novels you read because you need something mind-numbing, yet mildly entertaining and easy to read. I will probably read the fourth one, because I want to know what eventually happens to them. Will Bella ever stop feeling faint? Will Edward continue to have a rock hard ice cold body beyond perfection? Oh, the suspense! Ok, maybe not.

Anonymous said...

Cecily, sorry you didn't come up with the idea of a infantilish girl who begs for sex of a gentleman vampire....really sorry.

Your time will come but your readers will be more discriminating. mjh

~Stappsters~ said...

I read the first book and it is a creepy and strange book. The main character has no backbone and low morals. Why are Mormon girls reading this stuff (OK, Julia too the last book to EFY this week). UGH!

Mollie said...

Oh Jack Weyland...

Sarah said...

I know what you mean about resisting fads like this--it's generally something I'm a bit leery about as well. Last summer I stumbled onto "Twilight" without having heard a thing about it. I didn't know the plot, and I didn't know about its wild popularity. And I absolutely loved it. Sure, there are ways the book (and series) could be improved. But Meyer does a fantastic job of drawing one into the story and making the characters seem real, and to me that is "good writing" even if it isn't "flawless writing." She presents vampires in a way they've never been presented before. She puts an incredible twist on a classic theme, and I think that's partly what makes the books so intriguing and fun to read.

I can see why the idea of being the "first" female LDS author to publish such a groundbreaking book is appealing, but think of it as Meyer paving the way for you. And if you ever hit such phenomenal success, I guarantee that the "Mormon" angle will still be intriguing to the American public. It seems to be a theme that never loses its appeal.

Also, I'm intrigued by your comment about being the "sci-fi version of Stephenie Meyer." Does that mean that your novel is science fiction? Did you know that "The Host" (the book Meyer published in May) is actually billed as science-fiction? Meyer refers to the book as "science fiction for people who don't like science fiction." Interesting . . . looks like she has already taken that angle as well. :)

Megan Diane said...

I loves this post. First of all, it's so true, English majors have no time to read all the works they'd love to read. I have so many classics to catch up on. But let's be honest, after spending the last four years of my life reading over a thousand pages a week, and need a break.

Also, did you know I refused to read the Harry Potter books for 4 years because I didn't want to admit that a fad could be worth my time? I finally buckled down when Nathan asked me to read it to him at night before bed (I mean who can resist those puppy dog eyes!). I was hooked. I happily discovered that excellant writing could appeal to mass audiences. I am not saying that is the case with the Twilight series. In in fact have not read them either (agian, I need a break). But I am determined to read them and judge them for myself, and not be disuaded by my own prejudice and dislike for what is in fashion.

As for stealing your thunder, Cecily, your thunder is going to be so unique and fresh, that you don't have to worry about anyone stealing it. I mean, there really is no one like you and that's why you are so fantastic. I can't wait for your big debue. Oh, and can I get a personalized signed copy of your book?

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