The Camera Doesn’t Lie: Bella Really is a Whack Job

The end.

No — if you liked the books (the Twilight books, that is), you’ll probably like the movie. Even though Edward seems to be fighting dysenterial vomiting at the beginning rather than a burning desire for Bella’s blood, and even though Rosalie looks fat and ugly. (Sorry. I realize she’s probably a size 2, but her bum is big, and she’s not very pretty — should’ve tried Jennifer Siebel from Life).

Wow, looks like we're in need of a feeding. Know of any good deer herds 'round here?

Wow, looks like we're in need of a feeding. Know of any good deer herds 'round here?

Charlie, oh Charlie. Charlie is the awkward character in the books, the father with no idea what to do with his preternaturally “mature” daughter. In the movie, Charlie is the only character who acts rationally and says anything that actually makes sense. Plus he’s a lot yummier and younger than I had imagined. Let me comfort you, Charlie!

The biggest problem with the movie? (Besides the after-school special feel of several scenes and the pancake makeup over 7 o’clock shadows and the mushroom hair and too much lipstick on the men)?

Whereas while reading the books you can mentally insert Romeo and Juliet star-crossed lover-ness, blahblahblah, in a movie theater crowded with the target audience predisposed to LOVELOVELOVE the movie, there were way too many “romantic/tragic/romantic” scenes that got laughs instead.

I’m not sure why, but maybe it was just too much of a stretch to imagine any un-lobotomized person saying (out loud, in public, on purpose) “You won’t hurt me” “I trust you” “I DON’T CARE” upon first learning that the object of her desire is a vampire who wants nothing more on earth than to drain her body of blood.

I know you’re in love, it’s uncontrollable, it’s emotional, it’s perfect (except it’s not), and it’s sooooo REAL, but, geez, maybe you want to take a few minutes to think it over before extending your neck to someone not sure they can control themselves from KILLING YOU?

Hmm. Not sure why Chrysanthemum still looks hungry here. Girl needs a feeding, bad.

Hmm. Not sure why Chrysanthemum still looks hungry here. Girl needs a feeding, bad.

That said, I had a lot of fun going to the midnight showing with my Seagull Fountain friend Chrysanthemum, who was able to see Mormon themes of eternal life and perfected bodies and committed L.O.V.E., in the film. I only beg her that we not be covered in glitter after the Resurrection. Please?

Yeah, don't think those Rasinets are gonna do it, Chrys.

Yeah, don't think those Rasinets are gonna do it, Chrys.

What’d you think? (And have you bought stock in Summit Entertainment yet?)


Drinking Buddies

I have three daughters. My sister has two daughters and a son. (I was going to say that she is lucky to have a mix of genders, but I don’t know how to phrase that without making it sound like I regret having three daughters, which I don’t, except when I think of poor Dick never getting to teach his own flesh and blood to write his name in the snow.)

When my youngest, Spot, and her cousin, Track, are together, they act how I would expect twins to act. One minute they are making up silly games like Touch The TV And Fall On Your Bum In Gails Of Laughter, Repeat Ad Nauseum; and the next they are pouring sand on each other and guarding their own siblings’ shoes from the nefarious clutches of That Cousin You Have To Watch Out For.

Now that Spot is racing towards potty training (on a very, very slow horse), I can tell you that I think I will probably have one more kid, despite the fact that when people warn you to “enjoy this stage because it goes by so fast,” they are completely lying.

Babyhood and toddlerhood in fact creep by, but now that it is my youngest doing the creeping, I feel an intermittent and uncontrollable craving for newborn neck to gobble.

Or maybe I am looking forward to Twilight more than I expected.

Stephenie Meyer, have you been talking to J.J. Abrams?

(Breaking Dawn and Fringe SPOILER ALERT)

Dear Stephenie,

Did you catch the second episode of the new (almost-as-good-as Alias, probably-like-X-Files) show on Fox, Fringe? I know you’re sad, sad, sad right now about the internet-leaking of Midnight Sun, and probably you have better things to do than watch House and Fringe on Tuesday nights. Like write. Or play with your three sons or talk to your husband. But some of us don’t (or, we do, but, our husbands have Scouts on Tuesdays anyway, and the kids are asleep/snacking/screaming in their rooms, and writing isn’t getting us anywhere that it’s taking you).

So there I was, watching my new show Fringe, and I have to tell you that Bella’s pregnancy and delivery in Breaking Dawn was my favorite part of that book. I loved how Re-gag-me was a vampiric parasite, much like all babies, who leach the calcium from their mother’s bones and who, if you’re Rh-negative and have a husband who’s Rh-positive, all of your kids will be A-positive and you have to get two extra shots and even more blood drawn so your body won’t turn on them. Which, if you think about it and you think that vampirism is like a virus or blood disease, really makes sense.

Photo from You can watch full episodes at or

Anyway, the good people writing Fringe totally stole your idea of the baby who develops, in utero and out, much faster than normal. Of course, they followed the logical conclusion that aging and death would also come prematurely, whereas you came up with some ducks machine about development stopping at a very auspicious time, say, right when Re-gag-me would be a perfect age for the imprinting/newly-vampirphiliac Jacob.

I think Pacey would make a good Jacob, actually, which is another sign that you’ve been talking to J.J. Abrams lately. Or maybe you need a good copyright attorney.


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Sally Reviews The Princess Academy; Everybody is Guest-Post Writing

I learned about Shannon Hale from Stephenie Meyer‘s Breaking Dawn acknowledgments page: Thanks to my peer support, Shannon Hale, for understanding everything.

Oh! How joining that group would be sweeter than all the Be Fri – St Ends necklaces in the world.

The next best thing was a trip to the library, where I got Austenland, Shannon Hale’s first grown-up book, and Sally got The Princess Academy, her Newberry Honor book.

At first Princess Academy wasn’t princessy enough for Sally, who’s seen Barbie as the Island Princess one too many times. A few weeks later, after a detour through the old Nancy Drew books, Sally picked up Princess Academy again, and this time she was hooked. I sat down with her last night to see if it’s something I’d like to read:

On a scale of 1 to Harry Potter, how was it? I liked it as much.

What was your favorite part? When the bandits came.

Was it set in the real world? No, it was set in somebody else’s world, but that world seemed real.

Would you like to live in that world? No, it’s all cold on Mount Eskel.

Would you recommend it to your friends? Yes. What about the boys? I think boys would like it — there are princes and stuff in it.

There you have it: Two Thumbs Up for The Princess Academy. Sally is seven, but I think it would appeal to tweens, teens, and even grown-ups who remember reading Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books and Ursula K. LeGuin.

As for Austenland, I couldn’t help comparing it to the Twilight series, even though they are incredibly different. The authors share many characteristics — they’re both female, Mormon, mothers of small children, and both write YA books. They also both write romance-y books for a PG audience.

The first half of Austenland was delightful. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I read Melinda’s copy of the Complete Jane Austen when I was thirteen, and that I watch both the Jennifer Ehle/Colin Firth and Keira Knightley/Matthew MacFadyen Pride and Prejudices regularly. Hale’s writing is fantastic. One of her images still thrills me: she compares an middle-aged woman suddenly outshone by a younger flirty woman to a wilted carrot in the back of the refrigerator. I’ve had enough sad carrots in my crisper to love this image!

But the romance/plot is ultimately unsatisfying. I want to be convinced that my hero and heroine belong together. That they deserve each other, fit together, that their relationship will last. And she couldn’t convince me of that. Contrast that to Stephenie Meyer, who is not the world’s greatest writer. And who could use an editor like that carrot could use a shot of adrenaline.

But Stephenie Meyer is an incredible storyteller. Her plots are satisfying and convincing and I feel like I will die if her characters don’t end up together.

Is it too much to ask for great storytelling and fantastic writing all in the same book? Maybe they could collaborate? I mean, when they’re not busy understanding each other?


If you’ve ever wondered how to (or if you should) express your religious beliefs in your online writing, check out my guest post at Segullah today: Have you born your testimony on YouTube yet?

And for a great example of the power of blogging for good, check out Blog Community Supports Injured Couple. Tara at The Well-Rounded Woman talks about how bloggers have raised money and pulled together for Stephanie and Christian Nielson.

Aack. I just realized I’m a week behind on the theme. Sorry! Next month I’ll have a children’s book. Promise.