Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dear Stephenie Meyer,

Thank you for writing the Twilight series. It's really fabulous, as I'm sure you've been told multiple times. One critic indicated they are books that one would want to live in. I agree. Not sure if I'd want to be the main characters, but maybe a very good friend. I'd love to live in the world you created and witness it's magic. I forgot that I like to read until I read all four books in four days, even with a new baby and an 18 month old running around. I was tired, for certain, because I read at night mostly after my newborn had fallen asleep in my lap. Totally worth it.

Men, mostly, have apparently said it's this metaphor for chastity that is the draw for women. I'm not sure that it can be that simple. Being with someone whose first natural urge is to kill you but instead is in love with you and refuses to give in to the urge is much different than someone who refuses his urge to have sex with you; not to mention the other benefits of a vampire lover like him having super powers to protect you and eavesdrop for you as well as probably having endlessly interesting things to talk about because of living for so long and being well read, as well as being a vampire, etc... Unless, of course, men feel that women equate sex with death. I've never been that woman in particular. I find it offensive that someone would reduce it to simply being about the ability of a man to remain chaste.

I was disappointed in the movie because I felt there were poor choices made as far as putting in scenes that I felt were unnecessary and poorly written instead of using the wonderfully written scenes from the book. I do like the movie; enough of the feeling of the book is preserved and some of the acting is very good. Some other elements like lighting and scenery also help. I have a feeling the movies will improve as the series continues because there will be much less introduction into the world and more expression of it. It is fun to anticipate the progression on film. The movies make the world feel like it has been wished into existence by the readers.

I may have to dive into The Host soon.

Congratulations on your success. Thank you, again, for writing the Twilight story.



Dear Kristen Stewart,

I'm a fan. You seem very easy in the parts that you play. Not that the parts are easy for you, but that you seem naturally suited to play them. You have been well casted. Recently getting a bunch of movie channels I keep seeing In The Land of Women. I really enjoyed watching you in that role. You brought good energy and innocence to it. And it was funny to see you play the small part in Jumper. I wish it were a larger part because you deserve to be seen and heard. I plan on seeing Adventureland some time soon.

Of course I have seen Twilight. I read the books after watching the movie. It is interesting to read what people think of the movie who have read the books. It must be difficult to play a role from a book that has such a cult-like following. Everyone has their own idea of who Bella should be and look like, and if it's not the Bella you play the wrath is unleashed. I think you really made the movie. Without you playing Bella I do not think it would have been that great at all. I was disappointed in the movie, overall, honestly. I thought some of the choices made were poor, but that is not your fault. I think you really worked well within the constraints of the plot presented to you. I look forward to seeing your portrayal of Bella in New Moon. (You, Rob and Catherine were cute in the commentary on the Twilight DVD, by the way.)

I do not like to invade famous people's privacy so I tend to try to keep to the information that is less intrusive. I don't read tabloids or the gossip websites. I don't care. But from what I do gather of you, you seem down to earth overall. I hope you stay that way and that the celebrity you own will not own you. You seem like a good person and someone who would be easy to get along with. The pictures I have seen of you are lovely and I infer from them that you like to simply be yourself. I hope that it's true. And if you ever do read the comments that people write that try to cut you down I hope you ignore them. I think you are doing very well. You are a beautiful and talented girl.

Good luck in love and life.



Dear Rob Pattinson,

Are you deaf yet? I have read that the screaming fans are intolerable. I'm too old to look at you the way those girls do; too old and too much in love with my husband to think of you as anything but a handsome, talented young man. (That seems a bit grandmotherly when I write it that way, but I'm not nearly that old.) I think you are an interesting actor. You have played the role of my favorite artist and my favorite vampire. I've read a few quotes of yours and I like what you have to say fairly often. I like you, I think. It would be fun to have a conversation with you. I think your perspective is interesting and that you would have interesting and intelligent things to say.

You did well with the role of Edward in Twilight. It must be extremely difficult to fill the role of someone who is portrayed as being the most unbelievably handsome and perfect being. So many love you in the role and yet I have read the opposite as well. From what I have read of you it doesn't seem to effect you either way. But my opinion of the matter is that it really doesn't make a difference if you are attractive or not. Your role as Edward is to be the perfect being to Bella. You fill that role well. I think you were a good choice for the role and handle the part better than others would.

Unfortunately I have not been able to see you in any other role except as Cedric Diggory and as I am not obsessed with that series of books or movies in particular I have very little to comment on it. What I sense from having seen you in the two roles that I have been able to see is that you have good natural instincts about the characters you are playing and your mannerisms fit the roles. Some of your facial expressions are repeated in the two characters I have seen and even though the characters are very different the expressions were well placed. Maybe they will become your signature expressions.

So I've become a fan of yours. I love that you play piano. I envy your talent. I have never been able to learn to play and have wanted to since I was very young. Maybe not enough, I suppose. I have probably let opportunities to learn pass me by. I hope you never do. I hope you embrace every opportunity. It seems you will as much as you can, again, with the very little I know about you.

I hope to be able to see your other roles, especially as Dali, and am looking forward to seeing New Moon. And I also hope to hear more of your music whether piano, guitar or otherwise.

Good luck to you. Treat your girlfriends well. Keep ignoring what needs ignoring.



Dear Taylor Lautner,

I know even less about you than I do of Kristin Stewart or Rob Pattinson, but you're a cute kid. I haven't happened upon one of your movies as I flip through the channels on TV. I have not seen any other movie you have been in that I recall. You are maybe as talented as your co-stars in Twilight, but it was difficult to tell. Your shining moment in the movie series will come later since your role is more important in the future installments. Of course you know that. You had to pack on the muscle for the role of Jacob in New Moon, I read. Good luck dealing with the women after that. I'm sure it will become mayhem when you go anywhere. Already people who should be much too old to care are oogling you.

Be careful out there. Kid stars can get mangled in the mediated industries. It's far too easy to be destroyed by the fame. I hope you "keep it real" and are never swallowed up. Be good. Be great. Find meaning in the madness and get through to old age with some kind of sophistication and grace. Easy for me to say being no one in particular. But I suppose being a mother now I worry about everyone more than I need to.

As with your co-stars, I look forward to seeing you play your Twilight role in the future movies. It will be interesting to see you grow and change with your character.

Good luck to you. Stay cool, calm and collected. Let it be.



Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dear Joeby,

You have been in my thoughts so much lately. I think I am a bit homesick and I have been thinking of people from Cincinnati who I love. I think of you so fondly. You were such a great friend to me. I'm not sure if I ever really let you know. I remember being around you was so easy and fun. You went to the Toad concert with me, right? And I remember hanging out with you and your band. Do you still play? I remember coming back from college and I arrived home late at night. My mom was so pissed when I decided to leave and go meet you. I picked you up at work and we went to Diamonds in Dayton. Was that the last time we saw each other? I can't believe that we lost touch. It's terrible that I do not know you anymore. I hope you are doing well and you are happy.

Friends forever,

Dear Glen Phillips:

I have loved your music since the Toad the Wet Sprocket days and have enjoyed immensely your solo career thus far. I had the chance to see Toad in concert a couple times and a couple of your solo shows. I talked to you after a solo show in St. Louis and I also talked to you after a show in Covington, KY. I am always nervous talking to you. The songs you create are so beautiful to me and so intelligently written that I feel silly saying anything. I want to let you know that I enjoy your music and I want to just have a conversation but everything has always just fallen out of my mouth in a rush of crazy. The way that you look at me indicates either that I'm scaring you or you are surprised, or maybe unsure of me and what I'm saying. Maybe you do think I'm silly. I have written letters to you before, generally via email. I think you replied once. I sent you a painting and you told me you never received it. Well, I suppose I assumed it was you who responded. Maybe it wasn't. In any case.. I didn't know then that your wife is an artist. She did the artwork for the Winter Pays for Summer album if I remember correctly. Not sure why you would want artwork from me when you have probably plenty. I just wanted to send you something beautiful, something to show you what your music has meant to me.

I was about 9 years old, maybe 10, when I first saw the video for "All I Want" on MTV. I remember going to the music store with my mom and she bought the Fear album on tape for me. I had a Sony Walkman, the one my sister left when she went to college, and played that album on a trip to Florida with the family. From Cincinnati it was about a 24 hour drive. I listened to that tape over and over and over again. I think I have listened to it so much that it is actually part of my brain chemistry somehow. I still love listening to it. Love hearing the music and love hearing your voice sing the beautiful lyrics. Love the experimentation in "Butterflies." Love the simplicity of "Nightingale Song" and also still very much love "All I Want."

I saw Toad in concert the first time in Cincinnati at a music festival. I didn't get to meet the band after the show but one of the security guards got a pick from Todd, I believe. I have a Toad scrapbook that I called "Ode to Toad" and if it wasn't stuffed away in a storage room I would go get it now and make sure what I'm saying is totally accurate. The second time I saw Toad, again in Cincinnati, it was just you guys. I forget where it was... a popular concert spot in Cincinnati, but it has been years since I have been to my hometown. Bogarts maybe? Is that right? Anyway, I met the band after the show. I hung out in the back alley with a few other fans. One guy commented about how excited I was and that he was happy to see people still get excited about rock n' roll. I was 16, I think. I was with my friend Joe Baker, "Joeby." He was so sweet to patiently wait with me, take pictures of me with each band member, and listen to my excited banter on the way home. I don't remember what I said to you. But I remember you said you liked my shirt.. you said "Tricky threads," and signed my book... rose paper. I wonder now if having a bunch of guys sign their names on rose paper was demasculating... The paper choice was because it is pretty paper and I called myself Heidi Rose when I wrote poetry, and I wanted the book to be something special.

I was with my ex "fiance" when I saw you in St. Louis on one of your first solo tours, if not the first. We actually parked right behind you on the street outside the venue. I met you again. Told you that I was wearing the same shirt that I wore the night I met you in Cincinnati with Toad. You signed my Abulum album "I love you madly, do your laundry..." It still makes me smile. When I saw you in Covington, KY again, my ex "fiance" was with me. He got trashed at the show. I was glowing, a huge smile never leaving my face. Sitting on the floor right in front of the stage singing almost every lyric with you, not very loudly I hope. I met you after the show and again rattled off a bunch of nonsense and had you sign some things. I gave you something that you said you couldn't keep because you would lose it. It was a collage I made. You signed it though. I still have it in my "Ode to Toad." I have everything.

I broke up with my "fiance" for many reasons. One reason was because of how he acted when I was trying to talk to you at the Covington concert. He made me so mad and embarrassed me in front of someone I respect. It had been the end of the relationship long before, but it continued for reasons too complicated to delve into here.

I graduated from the University of Iowa, finally, after six years of being with that idiot I stayed with too long. I met my husband. Obviously married him. I have two kids now. I feel old. When I listen to your music it is sometimes incredibly painful because it reminds me of the most difficult times of my life. Your music helped me through those times. It helped me cry when I needed to cry, helped me smile when I needed to smile, gave me strength when I needed strength. Now I sing "Don't Need Anything" as a lullaby to my children. I do not listen to your music as often as I had before. I spend so much time now watching kids shows and listening to music for kids. But sometimes at work when I have my Ipod on shuffle, one of your songs plays and I have to stop what I'm doing and get lost in it for a few minutes. I may never get to another concert again. I guess I will have to see when my children get older. Lily isn't even two yet and Jonas is only three months old. I have a hard time leaving them for any real length of time.

I really do not know if it means anything to you that I have been a fan of yours this long. Twenty years. I do not know much about you really. I do not delve into your life much. I know you have a family and you love them very much. I know your father died and it was difficult for you. I know you write what I consider to be beautiful, sometimes fun and funny, music/lyrics.

Thank you. This is weird for me to say, I'm certain, but I do not know what I would have done without you.

With much respect,

Dear Melodie,

You are my sister and I love you. I respect what you have done with your life and how hard you have worked to have what you have. I know you love your family and you work hard to keep everyone happy. Somehow we have never been that close. I haven't spoken to you in months. I hear what is going on with you through our parents. I wish I knew how to talk to you but when we get a chance to talk I get nervous and anxious. I do not know you well enough. I do not always know what to say. I often feel like you are only trying to tell me what to do and how I should be. I believe that you feel most of my life has been a mistake and you respect me very little. Someday I hope that this will change, and that we can be close and our families can spend time together. As different as we are and even with how many years difference in our ages, I think we can still be friends and sisters. I do hope so.

Love always,

Dear President Obama:

I barely participate in politics anymore. Political interactions are maddening and can become diluted with biased nonsense that neither helps nor heals the world in which we live. But your presidency is exciting and I am watching. Everyone is watching so closely. You have become so important to so many people across the world. I want you to succeed. I want you to be the best. I hope for you. I am a citizen of your United States.

I know that you cannot change everything, that you are no Messiah, that you cannot make things perfect. But you have your wonderful wife and children and your eloquence and the support of so many to help you get through the tough times, the tough decisions. Do the right thing. Do what is best. Help heal this USA and make it feel great again.

Thank you.



Here I go...

To whom it may concern:

I have often found myself daydreaming about writing a letter to someone I admire or one that I dislike. Sometimes I find that what I want to say is so inadequate or unnecessary, and overall might just be embarrassing. But sometimes it bothers me enough that I need to write it down. I suppose I decided to make a blog about it because I am torn as to whether what I have to say is important or not and perchance the one the letter I post is intended for will read it some day. If one letter becomes in any way important to at least one of the persons I write "to" here then I suppose that it makes it worth it to write. Already I am beginning to feel silly; it is late at night and here I am thinking of writing a letter that I will never send. Feel free to comment if you'd like. Here I go...

Thanks for reading,