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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bitten by a vampire ... addiction

Guest blog by Heather Willis
Twitter: @twidictedteach

My two favorite Twilight books, Vampire Diaries bag and my Team Damon pillow made from a T-shirt

It all began with a choice. Maybe it wasn’t a choice, exactly, but was actually fated to be.

For years, I had heard my high school students talk about the Twilight series. I never had the urge to read the books, even after my newspaper students wrote reviews about the movies and the books. Team Edward. Team Jacob. What was all the fuss about? Why were people going bonkers over movies and books about a girl, a vampire and a werewolf?

Then the talk was about HBO’s True Blood. Next, it was the CW’s The Vampire Diaries. Why all the vampires? What was the big deal?

Almost a year ago, I got the answer to those questions. Now I can’t get enough, enough of vampires.

Something about the love story of Bella and Edward drew me in. I started with Twilight and within five days had read all four of the books. I even stayed up until 3 a.m. to finish Breaking Dawn, because I had to know how Bella and Edward’s story was going to end. Stephenie Meyer’s portrayal of the characters struck a chord with me and it was an instant affection that I felt for those characters and their stories. I was so drawn into their lives that not only have I read the books, but I have re-read and re-read countless times. I have no doubt that I will continue to re-read them for years to come.

No matter how many times I have read Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, the stories NEVER get old. By reading these books, it was almost like I have become part of the characters’ lives. Not just for me, but for women of all ages, it is so easy to experience their joy … pain … hope … fear … love …and … passion. (Now I am a member of a team. I am Team Edward all the way!)

From that moment that I fell in love with these stories, I craved even more vampires.

The Vampire Diaries, my next love, is the story of vampire brothers, Stefan and Damon (my absolute favorite of all vampires at the moment), their rivalry and their love for the same woman. The evil Damon, as portrayed by the talented and sinfully blue-eyed Ian Somerhalder, made me hate him and fall in love with him instantaneously. Maybe it is Damon’s bad boy persona, maybe it is Somerhalder himself, that appeals to me and so many other Diaries fans. Being able to love and hate Damon at the same time makes me want to cheer him on to become even more wicked, yet I yearn for him to restore his humanity that becoming a vampire had cost him. The show captivates me to the point that when the hour is up it feels as though only a few minutes have passed and it seems like forever before the next episode.

Even though I have read the books based on the series, it is the series that has continued to fuel my vampire passion. My blu ray of The Vampire Diaries season one is thankfully due to ship very soon. Who wouldn’t want to see Somerhalder and Paul Wesley in high definition whenever the mood strikes?

Other books, The House of Night (set in my hometown of Tulsa, Okla.), The Vampire Academy, and Sookie Stackhouse, have also found their way into my collection. Each of these stories has characters that are easy to relate to and to root for, characters who are searching for love and who are so easy to love.

Maybe it is the vampire as a metaphor for the person on the outskirts of society who is longing to find their place in the world. Maybe it is the vampire and its “forbidden” appeal. Maybe it is simply the characters and how their lives are presented in a way to make us want them to live happily ever after, especially since they are going to live “forever.”

As someone on told me, being a fan of vampires isn’t an obsession, even though many on the outside looking in may see it that way. For some of us, loving vampires is a way of life.

Because the Twilight Saga has become to mean so much to me and started my love of all things vampire, my stepmom made me a bracelet with charms to represent the highlights of the series. It is a bracelet that took a lot of time in planning because the charms had to represent as much of the books and as many of the characters as possible.

*A rose, to symbolize Rose, of course
*A dream catcher, for the one Jake gave Bella in the movie New Moon
*A crystal heart, like the one Edward gave Bella
*A star, to represent the state of Texas where Jasper is from
*An apple, to represent the cover of the book Twilight
*A heart, for Esme's "gift" of love
*A Texas flag, (was found after the star was put on :)) to represent Jasper
*A motorcycle, for Bella's adrenaline fix with Jake
*A heart shaped key, since Bella and Edward hold the keys to each other's heart
*An angel, to represent Edward because Bella often says he is more angel than man
*Another heart, well love is a prevailing them in all the books :)
*A pink baby shoe, Renesmee!
*Lion locket, to represent Edward and it has a pic of Bella inside of it
*An engagement ring
*A baseball, this is where James and his hunt for Bella began
*Be Safe, for the note Edward leaves for Bella in her truck
*A wooden wolf, to represent the charm Jake gave Bella for graduation
*Another apple, hey this one sparkles like Edward lol!
*Two forks, for the town of Forks, Washington
*A truck, to represent Bella's Chevy
*A high-heeled shoe, Alice does so love to shop
*A bear, Emmett and the bear, need I say more
*Baseball hat, bat and ball, for Charlie and his love of sports
*Lamb locket, to represent Bella and it has a pic of Edward inside
*A music note, for Bella's lullaby
*Another apple, hey Twilight is where it all began
Coming soon:
*A chess piece, for Breaking Dawn, my favorite of the books
*A medical symbol, for Carlisle


Chris Mann said...

Great piece, Heather! You may turn me onto the vampire pop culture after all.

AStaires said...

I am also an addict, or whatever term one may choose to endow me with! Like Heather, I stayed up until all hours reading The Saga because I just HAD to know what happened next. I read the HON books just as voraciously. (I am also proud to say I helped find some of your charms, Heather!)

Todd Hutchinson said...

Great job Ms. Willis! While I am a self proclaimed hater of all things vampire, your story was still great and almost made me want to read the books. Almost.