Wednesday, November 14, 2012

End of an Era - ForeverWard

That's become my mantra as I prepare to watch BD2 tomorrow night and usher in the end of an era. It's hard to believe that it's been four years since I first saw Twilight with my nephew. And it was a fluke.

We love to go to the movies together. Most of the time, we don't even have a specific plan in mind. We'll show up at the theater and then make a decision. My sister-in-law had mentioned Twilight to me in passing because her oldest daughter had read the books and they'd just seen the movie together. Her exact words to me about the movie were, "The main vampire guy is really cute. I think you'd like it." So when we scanned our choices and saw Twilight on the board, I remembered her words and asked my nephew if he cared if we saw that one. He shrugged and said sure.

Fast forward to the end of the movie...

Me: That was better than I thought it would be. I thought Edward was hot, didn't you?

Nephew: I liked Jacob better.

Needless to say, we no longer go to movies together and/or even speak for that matter ;) Actually, that led to more bonding between us over the saga. As CA at his college, he even helped coordinate the decorating of his floor for the first quarter's literature theme. You guessed it. Twilight. So proud :)

I wish I could say that I was so obsessed with the movie after my first viewing that it had me running out to see it again and again, but that wasn't the case. What I was immediately drawn to was the music, specifically the song used in the baseball scene. As most of you know, baseball is a passion of mine. That scene will forever live in my memory. The song was perfect.

That's what had me standing in the checkout line at Target and reading through the song list while I waited.

Never Think – Robert Pattinson
Let Me Sign – Robert Pattinson

What??? He had songs in the movie?!

Fast forward to me listening to said songs in the car...


That's where the obsession began. I just hope there is more music in his future.

I had no idea that would lead to me going on this insane, incredible, amazing journey, but I will forever be grateful that it did. It brought things into my life that I never, ever imagined it would, least of which is all of YOU.

In the days and weeks ahead, I plan to reflect on my journey more and link you to pictures taken on my travels along the way, if for nothing else then to have them archived here.

In the meantime, I know it's been a long while since kiTT (dragon-boss lady) and I last put out an edition of TwiPeople's Sexiest Ward Alive, but that’s because we wanted this next installment to coincide with the release of BD2.

This was a collaborative effort that was a whole year in the making. kiTT pitched me her idea for today's cover last year, and we knew we needed to sit back and wait for just the right pictures of Rob to be released. It's a tough job to monitor all pictures of him that come through month after month. ;) It felt like it took…well, forever.

I hope you'll join kiTT and I in celebrating the wrap-up of our tribute collaboration project that pays homage to the epic love story that spanned five fantastic movies. We dedicate these covers to all the fans that we’ve shared this journey with!

Of course I had to find a way to fit in a b&w image. ;) This is how we'll always feel about Edward.

Two years ago, Bleriana and I threatened to ‘storm the castle’ (here) if Rob wasn’t selected to grace the cover of People Magazine in November (for an honor that shall not be named on this blog until the title is given to Rob). Hey B, you knew you could count us me to make up for their poor judgment!

To see the final installment, which is a tribute to the OriginalWard, the one who launched so many epic fanfic love stories...and the one who will be our ForeverWard...please go to kiTT's post on TongueTwied.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Meeting Icy

Just as Rob will always be Fifty in my heart, E L James will always be Icy in my head :)

As most of you know, I have been a fan of Icy and MotU/MotUII for a very long time (thanks to pleading back in the day by Dangrdafne and Twilight Cupcake and an epic fanmade video by Biel). Since then, there have been story reviews, emails, tweets, blog tributes (including this one Fifty Shades of Thanks), and graphic designs. I even fell in love with a kiwi along the way (*waves at TwiKiwi50*). It was getting so bad that some of you thought I should be her PR person or be getting a commission. "Ka-ching!" became synonymous with me mentioning her and/or the stories. So to say that finally getting to meet her in person was a big deal for me is an understatement.

When her U.S. book tour was announced and Chicago was one of the stops, I immediately bought a ticket. The reception was hosted by The Book Stall at Chestnut Court and held at The Standard Club. The $75 ticket price included drinks, hors d'oeuvres, a copy of all three books in the trilogy, a personalized autograph in the book of your choice, and generic autographs in the other two.

I talked Kassie (Twilight Junkies Anonymous12 Months of Rob) into going with me, and we had an amazing time despite the dress code. You heard right. I had to check my baseball jersey at the door ;) The venue was easy to get to and gorgeous. There was an endless supply of food and drink, and the staff from the book store and the club were helpful and appreciative of the turnout. And turn out we did. There were 400+ of us there.

The one and only alcoholic drink we had that night. Honest.

Kassie and I ended up sitting with two other women who were there separately, and we enjoyed hearing their take on everything. It's still hard for us to wrap our heads around the fact that not everyone read the stories first as fanfiction and that for them, casting of the movie is a wide open canvas.

Our tablemates (Jill, to my left, was especially fun to get to know.)

After a welcome from the book store owner, Roberta Rubin, there was a cute reading of ten reasons "You Might Have It Bad For Christian Grey" by local writer Ann Marie Walker. You can read her posts and review of the night here.

Then came the guest of honor, author E L James. When she was introduced and took the stage, it was to cheers, applause, and a standing ovation. We left our table to get closer to the stage and stood along the side. It was hard to get good pictures though because of the dim lighting (that and a photographer I am not). The first words out of her mouth were "H-o-l-y shit!" and it was the perfect icebreaker. I had talked to her by email before the event, and she said it's just crazy that all of this is happening. She has been doing a lot of interviews during the book tour, and it really is true. She's down to earth, humble, and stunned that all of this is happening to her.

She spoke for a few minutes and then fielded questions before signing books. Of course there was a question about casting, but she insisted that they are a long way from that yet. Another fan asked if she was going to write another book, to which she replied that she'd actually already written two but that she'd need to go back and look at them again before they were ready to send to a publisher. Then there was the frequently asked question of whether or not she would continue the series, to which she (half?) joked "...I'm kind of sick of these kids." Someone pleaded for at least a book told from Edward's Christian's POV, and she eventually relented by saying, "Never say never." (Right about now, kiTT's whispering, "Midnight Sun.")

By dumb luck, we were actually standing where the line to get autographs was supposed to start. I had to hold Kassie back from giving the people from the other side of the room who were line jumping a piece of her mind ;) It was all good, though. We were still in the middle of the line, and I had faith that Icy would stay until all of the books were signed, and she did.

Staff came around and gave us a yellow post-it note to write our name on and showed us which page to put it on inside the book (title page). This is apparently common practice at autograph signings. It makes sense because it meant the line wasn't slowed down by asking for your name and how to spell it. Icy was seated at a table and to her left was a man who kept things moving by getting the books from the next person in line, opening them up, and sliding them in front of her to sign. I found out later that he is the VP/Director of Publicity at her publishing company, Anchor/Vintage Books at Random House.

Kassie went first, and I managed to get a picture, despite the fact that I was so nervous/excited.

(L to R) Agent Valerie Hoskins, Kassie, Icy, Publicist Russell Perreault

Having met Rob in a similar situation, I knew that the moment would be over in a heartbeat. Finally, it was my turn. Her publicist took my books and then slid the first one in front of her. I had written (17 forever) Lisa on my post-it note. I'll be honest. I was hoping for a small sign of recognition. What I got was surreal. She read it, gasped, looked up, and then got up from the table to wrap me up in a hug and tell me, "It's so lovely to finally meet you." It was definitely a moment I won't forget. She then proceeded to introduce me to her agent, Valerie Hoskins, telling her that I was the Lisa she'd been talking about.

Thanks to Jill for this picture.

Our personalized "Laters Baby" autographs

They had announced earlier that there wouldn't be individual pictures so that the author had time to sign everyone's books, so as I was standing by her agent waiting for my books to be signed, I said I had really hoped for a picture and Icy overheard me. She then asked if I could please stay until the end of the reception so that we could chat some more and do pictures. I checked my watch. Lie. I said of course with what was probably a goofy-ass grin on my face and headed back to our table with Kassie and the other two girls. I think all four of us were doing our own version of "H-o-l-y- shit!" at this point.

We visited awhile longer and the room started to thin out. Eventually, there was some applause and we looked over to see Icy standing up and waving to the people who were left and then she exited out a side door. I figured that was it. But then her publicist made his way through the empty tables and chairs to where we were sitting. He pointed at me and said that she wanted me to come up to her hotel room. Um. Yeah. Holy shit didn't even cut it at this point. I had the presence of mind to remember that Kassie was with me and explained that to him. He was very gracious and said it was no problem for her to come along too. I wish I had a picture of the two of us walking hurriedly behind him at this point. LOL!

On the way to the elevator, I ran into Michelle (Micki Martini), one of my roomies from the weekend in Chicago when we saw 100 Monkeys and again on my last trip to Forks. I'm sure onlookers watching our reunion thought we should have gotten a room that night as well ;) For those of you who know Michelle, you know she is one of the biggest sweethearts ever and an absolute riot to spend time with. I wish I had known she was going to be there ahead of time so I could have talked to her longer.

Kassie and I rode the elevator with security and a few other guests of Icy's, and she greeted us at the door. I wish I could tell you everything that we talked about, but then I'd have to kill you. Kidding. The thing is, I was unprepared. I told her that there were a million questions I should be asking and a million things I should be saying but the moment was just too big. She shook her head at that, of course. She thanked me for all of my support, past and present. She said it really is people like us who make this all worthwhile. She appreciates our thanks, but she said it is we who deserve the thanks because she knows she wouldn't be where she is today without us. And that especially includes old fans...Twilight fanfiction fans...despite what you may hear elsewhere. Icy still has her original twitter account. She doesn't hide the fact that these books started out as Twilight fanfiction. She didn't have to do what she did for me that night, as I am a direct link to her "past." But that's the thing. It's a past she's not ashamed of, nor should she be.

We took some pictures together and then I asked if she'd pose for a picture with Kassie, which she was more than happy to do. We headed for the door so she could let us out, but not before she made me promise to tweet her that I'd made it home safely. I did, and I did :)

Wearing my ever-present "Aini In Our Hearts Forever" bracelet, Steph!

It was a long day - very early to work so I could get 8 hours in, a 3-hour drive to Chicago, the reception, the meeting after, the 3-hour drive back home - but boy was it worth it, and it was nothing compared to the schedule Icy is keeping these days.

I can't wait to see how everything unfolds as the book heads to the big screen. If scheduling and location permits, I will be there to support her at her first world premiere. And regardless of who is cast (or maybe I should say who isn't cast), I will be the first in line to buy a ticket (or two, or three, or fifty) to see the movie.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pictures (finally!) from BD1 Convention in LA

I know. I know. I've been having a lot of fun going to events and not sharing my pictures with all of you. And not only am I late, I'm going to be sharing them out of order. I'm starting with the Twilight BD1 Convention...

I had an amazing time thanks in big part to TruceOver who contacted me saying she had an extra ticket and that I needed to rearrange my already booked travel plans for the BD1 premiere to include the convention. Note to self: Always listen to TruceOver, even when she doesn't listen to me ;)

I don't have any pictures from Friday night's panels because my flight didn't get in early enough, but I made up for lost time with the 17 billionty photos I took on Saturday. As you will see, Rob only had eyes for one person...and it wasn't me. Enjoy!

Alex Meraz and Tinsel Korey

I think we had a moment. Just sayin'.

Each panel member signed the banner after their Q&A.

Christian Camargo and Mia Maestro

Melissa Rosenberg

Jackson Rathbone, Ashley Greene,
Elizabeth Reaser, and Peter Facinelli

Peter telling one of his many stories.
Jackson played the role of Kellan :)


Jackson looking for me in the audience obv.

Asking for help from above.


Pretty sure he remembers the last time we met.

And we're still good. 

Charlie Bewley

Bill Condon,
Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart,
and Taylor Lautner
(See what I did there?)



Sunday Brunch
Alex Meraz, Christian Camargo, Daniel Cudmore

All of my convention pictures are stored here.

For video footage taken by another attendee, go here.

Also check out TwiloveSue's first round of pictures here.

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