Twilight Take #2 – Take #2!

Stephenie Meyer E.L. James

Just to add a little extra to last week’s post about Stephenie Meyer’s new book. Or, should I say Stephenie Meyer’s attempt this month to revive the Twilight franchise on the ten year anniversary of the first book’s release…

Many fans were upset that instead of her releasing the long-awaited Midnight Sun (Twilight from Edward’s point of view), she rewrote Twilight with the characters’ genders reversed.

Well, I’ve read read a little more on the situation.

According to interviews, Meyer was all set to finally (since her promise a hundred years ago in 2008) get Midnight Sun finished.

And then Fifty Shades author E.L. James came back again, releasing Grey, her version of Fifty Shades written from HER hero’s perspective!

That’s right, folks, E.L. James even plagiarised Meyer’s half-finished idea!

Stephenie Meyer has no plans to release Midnight Sun after EL James' Grey

Meyer gave up.

Ever since the mainstream media got their claws into Fifty Shades of Grey (at least a year after readers knew all about it!), people have been asking: why didn’t Stephenie Meyer sue E.L. James? James became a gazillionaire from unethically publishing fanfiction of Meyer’s books.

Meyer (whose books I do not like, by the way, but who I think has been wronged here) played the nice guy (girl) and just said she was happy for James’ success and that was that.

Now, though, I think she’s starting to feel a little differently.

She listed her reasoning as a lack of time for Midnight Sun, but during New York Comic-Con, she gave another reason - Grey.

I reckon the average reader would much rather have read Midnight Sun than Grey. I cannot stand the Twilight franchise, but I guarantee you I would pick up Meyer’s book over James’.

And now, it seems, because Meyer didn’t want to be tough about it, readers will never have that book.

So, Stephenie Meyer celebrated the ten year anniversary of Twilight…

Life and Death Twilight Reimagined (Twilight #5) by Stephenie Meyer

…By releasing Twilight, rewritten with almost all the genders reversed:

A celebratory release from an international bestselling author – with new anniversary material, “Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined,” the gender roles of the series’ main characters are reversed, turning Bella into the male lead Beau, Edward into Edythe and Jacob into Julie.

This is apparently her attempt to stop people calling her original lead female character weak – she said so in interviews.

How did I not know of this until days after the book’s release? Is that a sign that dead horse has finally been beaten down, or am I just so out of the loop these days?

What infuriates me is Meyer’s insistence she’s a feminist and that her characters are feminists because “it’s all about making choices”. Because here’s the thing: feminism isn’t about writing a series full of slut shaming, stereotyping, and blonde “jokes”.

I will not be reading this, but the current Goodreads rating sits somewhere around 2.5 stars – even with the diehard fans’ input – so that probably says all you need to know.

The most important thing though: imagine the fanfiction E.L. James will make out of this one!

My Mistress Film Movie

The Week: 7th – 13th September

Spring Blossoms Queanbeyan Australia Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney 8th September 2015

Spring Blossoms Queanbeyan near Canberra Australia 12th September 2015 Sonya Heaney Flowers Nature

Spring in my late-grandmother’s garden X

Cat Queanbeyan Australia Sonya Heaney 12th September 2015

Stray Cat Cooma Street Queanbyean Sonya Heaney 11th September 2015 (2)Stray Cat Cooma Street Queanbyean Sonya Heaney 11th September 2015

We are literally cat magnets these days. Here is yet another starving stray, who had the bad sense to move into my grandmother’s house right when contracts were being signed to sell it (the house, not the half-grown kitten!). This is possibly the most gorgeous, lovely-natured animal I have ever come across – and she is half the size she looks in the pictures!

sonya-heaney-oksana-heaney-canberra-13th-july-2013

In Canberra on Wednesday night they closed off half the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge (which connects the city with the Federal Parliament buildings) to film something involving guns and Chinese spies and a man jumping into the lake. The half of the bridge on the right of the picture is where some James Bond-type is going to be jumping from! (That is one of our pictures from 2013. You can’t really even tell it’s a bridge over water!) I guess I’ll have to watch this thing when it comes out!

Found alive Canberra family's prayers answered

Want an amazing story? On Friday a young woman missing in Canberra was found. After almost seven full days of everyone thinking of the worst possible reasons for her disappearance it turns out her car had crashed and she’d rolled down a slope, hitting all sorts of things. She’d been waiting for rescue for almost a week! It looks really remote, but here in the nation’s capital you have bushland like this even in the city centre! She must have been so frustrated.

Fifty Shades of Grey in Eighteen Minutes

Fifty Shades of Grey Movie

Cover Love

My American Duchess by Eloisa James

Cover Love

Midnight Captive (2015) (The sixth book in the Killer Instincts series) A novel by Elle Kennedy

My review of A Noble Masquerade (Hawthorne House #1) by Kristi Ann Hunter

A Noble Masquerade (Hawthorne House #1) by Kristi Ann Hunter

My review of Rescue Me by Christy Reece

Rescue Me by Christy Reece

My review of An Amish Harvest (The Amish Bachelors #1) by Patricia Davids

An Amish Harvest (The Amish Bachelors #1) by Patricia Davids

The Week: 10th – 16th August

Wattle Tuggeranong Canberra Australia 14th August 2015 Sonya Heaney Garden Nature

Friday afternoon in the garden.

It must be spring in Canberra. The wattle is out, all the birds are building their nests, and the days are getting longer and sunnier!

What at a weird week! On Wednesday, despite it not being freezing, it rained, and then the rain turned into snow. It doesn’t settle here (far too warm), but everyone in Canberra went crazy about it because it’s SO rare!

HOWEVER… then on Friday it was so sunny and so warm everyone was in t-shirts, and we spent the whole day working in my late-grandmother’s garden and had lunch out on the back deck! This weather is seriously weird.

We booked an overseas trip on Wednesday night. We’ll be in Ukraine (as long as Russia doesn’t take over the ENTIRE country by then) and then Italy for a couple of months from April to June next year. They’re both places I’ve spent a lot of time in, and have family (Ukraine) and friends (Italy) in.

StMichaelsKyivUkraineSonyaHeaney

Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine.

This church was used as a makeshift hospital during the revolution in 2013-2014.

Canberra Airport has been lit up in rainbow colours to greet federal MPs flying into the capital, ahead of the introduction of a cross-party bill to support gay marriage expected this fortnight.

Canberra Airport has been lit up in rainbow colours to greet federal MPs flying into the capital, ahead of the introduction of a cross-party bill to support gay marriage expected this fortnight.

In my city this week, the airport – as in the national capital’s airport all the politicians fly into – was lit up in marriage equality colours. When you live in a progressive city but all the crappy politicians from elsewhere fly in, WE end up being blamed for THEIR decisions in Federal Parliament.

We didn’t vote them in!

Ukrainian soldier leaving to fight invading Russians.

Ukrainian soldier leaves for war.

This week has been appalling in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. After lunch with Ukrainian embassy staff this week we’ve heard so many more awful things that you’ll never hear here. Not as long as the news can find more baby animals at the zoo to report on!

Military Romance

Last Man Standing by Cindy GerardTactical Strike by Kaylea Cross

Cover Love

Silver Linings (Rose Harbor #4) by Debbie Macomber

Graphic Novel of Pride and Prejudice?

Pride and Prejudice (Marvel Classics)

Just Because

Fifty Shades of Tubby

My review of The Rake to Rescue Her (The Ransleigh Rogues #3) by Julia Justiss

The Rake to Rescue Her (The Ransleigh Rogues #3) by Julia Justiss

My review of Cactus Rose by Samantha Harte

Cactus Rose by Samantha Harte

The Week: 6th – 12th July

Kangaroos Lawn Cemetery Queanbeyan Australia 11th July 2015 Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney Winter

Kangaroos Lawn Cemetery Queanbeyan Australia 11th July 2015 1 Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney Winter

Visiting the cemetery yesterday. The Canberra region has a serious kangaroo plague, and it’s getting worse and worse!

Winter Night Ice Skating Canberra City Australia Civic Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney 5th July 2015

Outdoor ice skating in Canberra a few days ago

On Monday the Christmas review books started appearing. Even for review books is this not a little premature??!! All the same, I’ve already started reading them. I guess at least it’s winter here, so all that talk about snow and fires makes a bit of sense.

For some reason I don’t seem to be getting notifications from a lot of sites anymore. For example, no matter how many times I switch my Pinterest notifications back on, I don’t get them! So I’m having a little trouble responding to people all over the internet at the moment…

I seem to be reading a million Western historical books at the moment, and a glance at my review books shows I have another thousand lined up. I have no idea how that happened.

I’ve written multiple times about how racist a significant portion of Anglo Australia is. This week, Australian “legend” Dawn Fraser went to the press with extremely racist comments about the children (not even the actual immigrants) of European and Asian immigrants. This woman lives on the same street as my aunt. The next time I see her…

Apparently “real Australians” are 100% British blood. I wonder what these equal opportunity racists think of Aborigines…

Things that do NOT make your romance heroine better than other women

new-moon-hq-stills-bella-swan-26178243-2560-1703

Clichés of Attraction

Heterosexuality.

Pride and Prejudice Adaptations: BBC’s 1980 Production

Pride and Prejudice 1980 Elizabeth Garvie David Rintoul Elizabeth Bennet Mr Darcy

My review of The Best of Both Rogues by Samantha Grace

The Best of Both Rogues by Samantha Grace

My review of The Marriage Agreement (Charity House #9) by Renee Ryan

The Marriage Agreement (Charity House #9) by Renee Ryan

My review of Danger Wears White (The Emperors of London #3) by Lynne Connolly

Danger Wears White (The Emperors of London #3) by Lynne Connolly

Things that do NOT make your romance heroine better than other women

Fifty Shades of Grey Movie

Everyone’s doing it these days. Creating romance heroines who are just so speshul that nobody can resist them, because they’re Not Like Other Women.

Well, I don’t think it’s a good thing to imply all other women are faulty – even if they’re fictional women!

Here are some popular romance heroine traits – and why I hate them:

Fifty Shades of grey Lumberjack Shirt

The heroine who dresses like a lumberjack.

The Twilight Effect strikes again.

Ever since Bella (quite literally) stumbled onto our page and into Forks in Twilight, the lumberjack heroine has been all the rage. Just as her co-stumbler doppelgänger Anastasia in Fifty Shades of Grey does, she manages to attract every man within a hundred-mile radius even though she is proud of looking as unattractive as she can make herself be, and thinks nasty things about women who take some pride in their appearance.

And – naturally – she’s always paired with a man whose wardrobe we never hear the end of. Of course, they make a perfect pair even though he’s in Armani, and she’s in… dad’s hand-me-downs.

I don’t get it.

This is where Sylvia Day makes more sense with her Crossfire series.

new-moon-hq-stills-bella-swan-26178243-2560-1703

The heroine who scorns any traditionally female activity.

Making sure you only like and participate in traditionally masculine activities doesn’t make you better. Because men are not better than women. Looking down on “girly girls” and spending your afternoons shooting bad guys in a video game doesn’t make you smarter or more interesting.

Like whatever the hell you want to like. But you’re not better or worse than other women because of your interests.

Again, Crossfire’s Eva wins this round. She embraces all sorts of things, and therefore isn’t a raging misogynist hidden behind the façade of the genius Plain Jane.

Fifty Shades of Grey Eat

The heroine who eats a lot.

Nothing wrong with eating. Believe me, the first thing I did the afternoon I finished my ballet career was eat a hamburger and a bar of caramel chocolate. It was great.

However, it seems every second book these days has a hero who complains about All Other Women and how he hates it when they don’t eat much. Or when they’re watching their weight. Or when they order a salad for lunch instead of a bucket of fried chicken and a slab of chocolate as a side.

Of course, the heroine wolfs down burgers like they’re going out of fashion, and yet still manages to be dainty, even though she never exercises. (Which is why I was so thrilled with food-loving, exercise-loving Eva in Crossfire.)

Naturally, the hero is a perfect specimen with muscles on muscles, and while his physical beauty is his main character trait, we’re supposed to hate the same trait in the female characters.

Makes no sense to me.

Twilight Bella Clumsy

The heroine whose uselessness allegedly makes her cute.

You’re a Regency era maiden and you can’t sew? Well, I guess you’re not fussed on wearing clothes. Or, at least, you prefer things with holes in them.

It’s the nineteenth century and you refuse to dance at balls because you consider yourself too smart? Because you’re “better” than other women because you read books? How about dancing AND reading books, and finding yourself that husband you want in the process? You CAN do both.

You’re in high school and you trip over every time you move, and so therefore do no physical activity whatsoever? And you devote a lot of time to thinking nasty things about the students who play sport? And everyone thinks it’s endearing that you’re failing P.E.?

Well, that’s got to be good for your long-term health.

It’s one thing to not be perfect at everything, but another entirely to think you’re BETTER because of it, and that’s exactly what the tone of so many heroines’ thoughts project.

bella-swan-feminism-sandwich

Mostly, what I don’t understand is the attitude of so many romance writers that in order for our heroine to be a, well, heroine, she has to prove she’s BETTER than Every Other Woman in the book. This is the heroine’s romance story, not her fight to the death with everyone else of her gender.

The Week: 29th June – 5th July

Winter Nature Kangaroos Farm Bush Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 4th July 2015

Kangaroos where the cows are supposed to be in Canberra on Saturday afternoon… And autumn leaves out in the middle of winter!

Weird week. Freezing nights and bright, warm sunny days. Such extremes in temperatures when you live in the mountains!

Also this week, EL James’ version of Midnight Sun has been universally ridiculed for its stalkerish narration (likened by many a reviewer to a serial killer’s perspective), and also – sadly, predictably – hit bestseller lists. I know I’m shocked. 🙂

Anybody remember Siemens? They’re the German company infamous for using concentration camp slave labour in World War Two.

This week they ignored international sanctions against Russia and did major business with Putin.

Once a Nazi, always a Nazi.

Military Heroines

Our Girl Series 1

Cover Love

A Highlander of Her Own by Melissa Mayhue

My review of Lock and Load (SEAL EXtreme Team #2) by Kimberley Troutte

Lock and Load (SEAL EXtreme Team #2) by Kimberley Troutte

My review of Demelza (The Poldark Saga #2) by Winston Graham

Demelza (The Poldark Saga #2) by Winston Graham

My review of The Trouble with Patience (Virtues and Vices of the Old West #1) by Maggie Brendan

The Trouble with Patience (Virtues and Vices of the Old West #1) by Maggie Brendan

My review of Aftershock (After #2) by Sylvia Day

Aftershock (After #2) by Sylvia Day