Friday, June 10, 2011

Themes, Authors, Cookies, and Many Happy Returns.

Dear People:

So sorry I'm late. I had some business with a chocolate chip cookie. And a box of tissues. And some hormones. But now my happy-face is back on and I can write without further incident. Especially since I brought the whole bag of cookies down here to my computer. So here we go.

I just read this quote by Andrew Futral:

"Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength, and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend."

Bwaaaa hahahahaha!

Andrew. Dude. I don't know who you are--except that you are in two bands and have been to Cleveland. Or live there. Or something--but that is a great quote. Not because it disses on Stephenie Meyer's work--because clearly, whether you think Ms. Meyer is a brilliant writer or not, she knows how to tell a story that keeps people turning pages, which means, she knows how to sell a book. And a movie. And she can make Taylor Lautner buff himself up in ways that should not be allowed. And Robert Pattinson gaze at Kristen Stewart in the agony of vampiric love. And broken beds. And stuff.

No. This is a great quote because, aside from being stinkin' funny, it illustrates something I love: In the world of literature and entertainment, there is something out there for everyone. Now, I know that doesn't sound like anything profound--and it may not be. It may be the cookies speaking--but stay with me here. 

It's easy to look at Rowling's epic "Harry Potter" with its obvious themes of good versus evil, and the whole confronting fears, inner strength, doing-what's-right-thing, and think, well duh. Obviously this is a series with more weight and depth than a fluff piece about a girl falling in love with a vampire.

But if you look again, you will realize that Meyer, too, has imbued her books with themes of good versus evil, finding inner strength, and in some circuitous ways, doing what's right. I'm not trying to argue the merits of one series versus the other. In fact, if it comes down to it, I am a serious Rowling fan, who does admire Meyer's ability to keep readers turning pages, if not the twi-lit stories themselves. 

What I'm really trying to say is this: How awesome that we live in a world where there is so much talent that we can go out there and find books written in literally every style, with every level of depth and/or quality, from every genre, with a zillion different kinds of appeal, and find what we are looking for.

On any given day I may be in the mood to read Ayn Rand, or Douglas Adams, or JK Rowling, or William Shakespeare, or Stephen Hawking, or Shannon Hale, or Stephen King, or Stephenie Meyer. (Look!  I put Stephen King's name right next to Stephenie Meyer's, and they're not even fighting!) The great thing? I can go out there and find a book to match my mood. Any time I want.

So thank you, all of you who take the time to put your stories down on paper, and then go to the trouble to edit, rewrite, query, rewrite, shop for publishers, rewrite, and finally do the exhausting work of promoting your book. I don't care if you're Rowling or Meyer. I don't care if the story is about vampires or seriously bemused Englishmen shot into space to avoid the end of the world. You're out there. You've gone to a whole lot of trouble. And good, bad, or ugly, you have the talent and chutzpah to get published. I appreciate you. Who cares if your book is heavy on the themes or heavy on the breathing? It's published, and I can read it.

Thank you.

Bless you.

I hope to join you.

The end.

(*sticks entire face into bag of chocolate chip cookies*)


Anonymous said...

rigorously defined. no. ~Mary

ps love the drawing.

William Kendall said...

*steals the bag of chocolate chip cookies when no one's looking*

Janiel Miller said...


shelly said...

Were you huffing the cookie bag?

Janiel Miller said...

It's, um, possible.

Maegan Langer said...

That is one thing I admire about Stephenie Meyer - like it or hate it, she sure can spin a story that keeps people hooked.

Psssst! William, any cookies left?

William Kendall said...

No, I'm a big believer in scarfing down the bag as quickly as possible, so all cookies are gone....

Janiel Miller said...

Man. I'm going to have to blog about chocolate chip cookies more often.

Maegan Langer said...

Well, yeah, since you obviously didn't bring enough to share with the whole class this time. Psh.

Russo said...

Janiel, you are one of the most amazing gals I know. I really loved the addition of the pics. The quote was perfect and you really tied things together well.