A place to share my poems and writings.
Swedish proverb: "Shared joy is double joy. Shared sorrow is half sorrow."
Maggie Kuhn: "Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes."
Disclaimer: no copyright infringement intended for Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, Stephenie Meyer and all fan fiction authors. Where there is a specific source, credit is given. You all have inspired me. Thank you.
a Twilight related event in Gatlinburg Tennessee advertised for 16 to 18
January 2015, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – Cullens’ Winter Escape with a
Christmas theme. The Olympic Coven was attending – the Cullens at least. Katie
Quinn Thornton, who plays Victoria, came as an attendee, but was included in
the OC group upon her arrival. It was good to see her. It was advertised as the
last appearance for Josh Goff as Jasper Cullen. With the cancellation of the
Olympic Coven in St Helens event, it was possibly the last event appearance of
the Olympic Coven as well. I was able to attend through the generosity of a
was actually only half day Friday and full day Saturday instead of three days
as advertised. If one read through the schedule one might have noticed no
activities planned for Sunday and only half for Friday, but one might have
thought that the schedule was still being finalized and Sunday would be
announced. An extra night of motel room was booked. The price of the event was
a bit much for half the time advertised. The extra time was well spent, but
would have preferred to have saved the money.
motel was Brookside Resort, www.brooksideresort.com. All the rooms have a balcony and one can see and
hear the brook. There is a fireplace in the rooms and the bathtub has spa jets
– be prepared to have a very wet floor if use the spa feature. There is also a
small kitchenette with microwave in the rooms. The event room was wonderfully
decorated for Christmas. The food served in the event room was good and the
service there excellent. There was a free breakfast available – three types of
cereal, oatmeal with toppings, biscuits and gravy, bagels, Danish, English
muffins, with jelly & cream cheese available and orange juice & milk to
drink. I ate dry cereal until bought some yogurt from market across the street.
The biscuits were really good. I should have gotten some cheese to have with
has a trolley system with about five routes – not all routes run year round.
There is a stop in front of the resort. While we were there the Blue route that
the resort is on ran about every 40 minutes. Some of the other routes have a
shorter time. What the run time is during the summer, I do not know. Downtown
Gatlinburg is a mini Vegas or Reno without the gambling, as is the main road
through Pigeon Forge. Bright lights, this and that show, this and that exhibit,
this and that souvenir shop. Thank goodness the surrounding area was pretty.
The bare trees have their own beauty. No snow while we were there.
welcome packets did not get to us and the TShirts were not delivered in time. The activities
the group planned came off well. Rather than a gift exchange, if one wanted to
participate you could bring a stocking and stuffers for everyone else. It
turned out 55 people participated. The stockings were overflowing and there was
not really room between the stockings to make sure the overflow did not get
mixed up with neighbors. I heard reports that not everyone got total of 54
items. That may have been deliberate on the part of the givers or security was
needed to insure items stayed in the stockings/overflow.
arrivals there was a gathering at TGIF for dinner. The two waiters did a
magnificent job of handling the impromptu large crowd. I arrived a little late
with Kim Cruz, Christilynn Swan, and Vee Cullen. Vee’s flight had been delayed. That did
give me some time to chat with Christilynn and then Kim and Vee as driving to
Gatlinburg. I was in awe that I was riding with two members of the Olympic
Coven. Christmas light decorations were still up as there is a Winter Festival ongoing
for January. Never did a night picture of some of the lights. :-(
morning I ended up walking to the Walgreens to get a couple of items I forgot.
Long walk and not flat. I walked by a sky lift that I was really tempted to do,
but decided I wouldn’t be able to move out of the way of chair fast enough
getting off. I did wait for the trolley to take me back. The Aquarium is the
one point all routes have in common. I waited about 20 minutes for first
trolley to continue its route and take me to the Aquarium. I then had another
30 minute wait for the blue route trolley. There is a nice visitor center next
to the Aquarium ticket area. I spent the wait time enjoying looking at history
of Gatlinburg through pictures and some artisans work on display.
scheduled event was a champagne reception Friday mid-afternoon. It was our
first look at the wonderfully decorate event room. A Christmas tree with lights
set up for us to decorate later. There was a table to place our ornament for
the exchange later. There was a table with bubbly drinks – champagne and soda
including the good Sweeps ginger ale. There were name tags up for each stocking
hanger. There were vendor tables set up in front of windows for National
Twilight Night and each Coven member to sell photographs and autograph them. I
didn’t complete my personal assignment of printing out some of my pictures for
them to sign. I did get their autographs at SMD 2014. The reception was a nice
time to talk and meet people. I noticed that more people seemed to go introduce
themselves than at the Stephenie Meyer Day celebration. The smaller group I
think helps facilitate that along with the quieter room.
evening dinner with a Cullen couple was too tightly scheduled. Time to gather
up car pools and travel to restaurant was not allowed for. The dinners were
signed up for before even leaving home. Jasper and Alice at the Alamo, where I
went. Emmett and Rosalie at a BBQ place. Carlisle and Esme at a Mexican place.
Edward and Bella at an Italian place. At least two places did not have room for
the full number at one table. Everyone was seated close by though.
table when we got back was mouthwatering. Pecan pie, carrot cake, brownies,
cakes and I can’t remember what all else. We decorated the Christmas tree. We
had the ornament exchange and the ugly sweater contest. I picked an ornament
from Salt Lake – salt crystals grown in shape of snow flake. Hope it arrives
home in one piece. There were four finalists in the sweater contest. Then we
voted with a dollar for favorite of the four until noon on Saturday. Alice was
then to wear the winning one Saturday evening.
Alice with the four finalists
a game of ‘gathering the witnesses’ for teams to work at. It was a scavenger
hunt with a twist. I choose to sit this out as involved going outside and I was
already starting to hurt from the long non-flat walk. It was a nice quiet time
to talk with some others also sitting it out. There were a few people dancing
while we waited for the teams to come back. There were questions so you not
only had to gather the clues but answer the questions correctly. The teams all
seemed to enjoy the romp. I enjoy the conversations.
Twilight Night took over for some games. This lady was a little tired and sore
and retired to my room. I am also not much of a party person especially if get
rowdy and part of the crowd was already a little rowdy for me. I know I’m a
stick in the mud. In the room I downloaded the pictures taken for the day. The
internet connection wasn’t too bad most of the time. Facebook was a problem at
times in not wanting to upload images.
really cold over night as there was frost everywhere and every morning you could
see your breath. Saturday was shopping with Alice in the morning. We joined the
group after getting another attendee a cane at Walgreens. She aggravated a
fractured leg with a fall Friday evening. Another attendee offered to drive us
down. Had a chance to chat with the driver while waiting for cane purchased.
She did right well after that. We joined the rest of group at a nostalgic store.
That was fun. One person caught me unawares of picture being taken. Someone
else got a posed shot as arranging car pool to go downtown. I was called on to
play photographer for some posed ones in a little red sleight with Alice,
Jasper, Bella, and Edward. That was fun and enjoy sharing pictures.
shopping and snow play time for some others, we had a catered lunch in the
event room. It was a buffet potato and soup bar. Good selection of toppings.
The chili was meat free and had rice. It was good, a bit different but good. There
was a break for naps and getting ready for the big Christmas dinner.
evening was a buffet Christmas dinner - turkey, dressing, mashed potato, green
beans, cranberry sauce, and desert. It was all good. Nice dinner conversation.
Alice made her grand entrance with the winner of the ugly sweater contest.
After dinner the stockings were passed out. There was one really impressive
handmade gift – coasters of the book covers done by Alexia Rodriguez. There
were lots of other neat things people made or wrapped pretty. I didn’t unwrap
and look at most until Sunday.
Alice wearing the winning ugly sweater
was undecorated. There were posed pictures with the Cullen Family. The tables
were all cleared off. Over flowing Stockings taken to rooms. After a little a
break the Josh and Travis VIP Party Down South event started. Dancing and drinking
and rowdy behavior. Josh and Travis each had come up with a special alcohol
mixed drink. They were in containers like the lemonade and iced tea or punch
containers on the other table. There was a nice selection of non-alcoholic
drinks available – sparking ciders or sparkling non-alcoholic grape juice. The
special drinks were not labeled alcoholic. From reports I heard, it is likely
one attendee got very drunk on the alcoholic lemonade looking drink. I stayed
for a while taking some pictures and talking to people. Conversation was more
difficult with the loud music.
the end of the Cullens’ Winter Escape event. Sunday I got a roommate, Lyndy Sue Shields. We
were going to hang out for rest of Sunday and Monday before taking me to
airport Tuesday morning. We went for a drive on Sunday and met two other
attendees at Golden Corral in Pigeon Forge. Good dinner and nice conversation.
Monday I finished packing suitcase to ship home. Arrived with three and too
many to handle. Stupid computer and stupid winter coat took up too much room.
Only wore the coat once and only to say that I did – am kind of glad it was
warm enough to just wear an additional layer with warm jacket.
lunner, midway between lunch and dinner, at Mellow Mushroom. Great pizza. Then
we walked around the other half of downtown Gatlinburg in the evening. Found a
suitable souvenir TShirt and we enjoyed the Hollywood car exhibit – Gibbs’ car
out in front.
It was a
great time. The Olympic Coven was fantastic as the Cullens and as themselves. I
really enjoyed the time to visit with the ones I did. Also the chance to meet
and talk with other fans was great. Big Thank you to the organizers! Best
wishes and superior skill and cunning in your personal and professional lives
to the cast members if this is the last time I get to see you. Thank you for
all your work and bringing to life the book characters. It may seem strange to
you because I don’t interact with the characters, but I really do enjoy your
work. I’ve enjoyed the time to talk with some of you as yourselves. Wish had
more time to talk with others. Tears come when words cannot adequately
express the emotions. I need some tissues now.
to organizers, the cast, and other attendees for a wonderful time.
This is an
expansion of what I posted on Facebook already. That started off as the final
paragraph of my review and report on the Cullens’ Winter Escape event. The
Olympic Coven (OC) deserves their own post on my blog. The OC is a group of
actors that cosplay the characters from the Twilight Sage books. Cosplay with
screen accurate costumes/hair and developing the character in ways to spontaneous interact with others of the
group and the fans.
Twilight changed my life as it has for a lot of other people. The Olympic Coven
has added to that change. Twilight is an emotional experience. Seeing the OC
bring to life the characters is something of an emotional experience.
Personally I’m not interested in interacting with the characters, but I love
watching them interact among themselves and other fans. They act like a family,
sibling teasing, parental monitoring at times. They are lively and fun and warm
and caring to each other and the fans.
knows how to walk the line of being the character and being themselves when
interacting with fans. Travis would never say some of the stupid thoughtless
things that could pop out of Emmett’s mouth. Christilynn and Brynna are both a
little standoffish in a way, but that is their character of Bella and Rosalie.
Bella is shy, doesn’t want attention. Rosalie is fierce and protective and
intimidating. Both actors show that side while also being open to talking with
fans. Alan and Josh as Edward and Jasper do much the same. Travis is Emmett,
fun and a big teddy bear with good hugs. Vee is Alice, very lively and enthusiastic and so much fun to watch and listen to her and Travis banter as siblings. Cay and Tori, for 2014, and the actors that portrayed Carlisle and Esme in 2013, are the calm around which the rest
swirl. They are proper and stern and loving as Carlisle and Esme. Katie as
Victoria is awesome. That stare will freeze anyone, never guess that Katie is
an ER nurse. Those are the one I’ve had the most interaction or watched the
young ones I did not watch that much and only interacted once with them.
Jacqueline as Bree managed that confused and fearful appearance. Samantha as
Renesmee looked sweet and self confident.
Meyer Day 2013 was my introduction to Staci Chastain and the Olympic Coven. I
don’t know much about the history before that. As a former con runner, I
recognized Ms Chastain as the one in charge of getting and keeping the OC on
time for their various appearances at SMD and being the one that made the
arrangements for those appearances. There were some opportunities to talk with
her that first year and off and on since then. She has done a marvelous job of
gathering the cast members and associated staff for hair, makeup, and
individual handlers; then working with some businesses in Forks to arrange
appearances of the OC. They act like they’ve been together for longer than they
have, especially with the new arrivals in 2014.
that the cosplayers distract from the author and book celebration at Forks
Washington. I think for most even if they don’t interact with the cast, the
actors add to the experience of visiting any Twilight Saga site, be it Forks,
St Helens, Portland area, or Vancouver BC area. They can’t move at vampire
speed and they do need to eat human food, but seeing them together in the
locations mentioned in the books adds a touch of magic.
worked at some media cons in the past and I’ve been to a lot of events with
historical reenactors. I have not seen a group do such a wonderful consistent
job at portraying the characters while also interacting with fans. They have
brought a touch of magic to my life.
post is about the Olympic Coven, I cannot fail to mention that there were some
other serious cosplayers that added to the magic at SMD 2014 and at CWE 2015. They
are included in the list at bottom.
of the Olympic Coven is kind of up in the air currently. I am thankful I was
able to attend the Cullens’ Winter Escape as that may be their last appearance
together. I hope not. More people should have the opportunity of seeing them in
action. A big Thank You to the cast for all you work, for giving up time from your life to
entertain us, for money out of own pocket to be at these events, for that touch
cast for SMD 2014 and * CWE 2015
– Vee Elle, Facebook – Vee Elle as Alice Cullen
it was announced that the Olympic Coven would be celebrating in St Helens
Oregon in 2015, I got really excited. The actual film sites with the Olympic
Coven would be a dream. Go to the film sites and reenact some scenes maybe and
then maybe do some goofy things with it too. And what if they could get the director
of Twilight movie Catherine Hardwicke there too. I’m dreaming a fangirl dream.
a layer in that dream that the city of Forks would get together and really
support a celebration there the weekend before or after St Helens and get
Stephenie Meyer to attend. Oh what a 10 year anniversary celebration that would
be for the fans of the books and the movies.
were that St Helens was working well with the Olympic Coven group and planning was
proceeding in positive manner. Nothing was coming out of Forks for anything
beyond a birthday cake celebration. Half of dream is better than none.
30 December 2014 the dream is crushed. The St Helens plans have been sabotaged
by petty and unprofessional actions from Forks Chamber of Commerce. Forks
changed their plans and now want to throw a big celebration. They were
unwilling to work with St Helens and the Olympic Coven to combine efforts on
different weekends to make it a wonderful book and movie celebration. Stop and
think, what that means to the fans and to the tourist dollars for St Helens and
Forks and the surrounding area, it is beyond sad. It is tragic.
am having a hard time dealing with the disappointment. I know my dream was a
dream and not likely to happen, but it was a possibility. I do not trust the
Forks Chamber of Commerce after their intentional sabotage of an event in a
city four hours away. I do not believe the Forks Chamber of Commerce is really
enthusiastic for the Stephenie Meyer Day celebration for the fans or as a
tribute to Stephenie Meyer and Twilight. I do believe for the Forks Chamber of
Commerce it is only about the money. They have been happy for the money brought
into the area by the events Staci Chastain and the Olympic Coven have planned
in the past, but have not shared that money with them.
is added disappointment in the Twilight Forever event being planned in
Gatlinburg Tn for August with the Olympic Coven. I wish they would use their
time and energy and money in working with Forks to make that a better
celebration. I can empathize with the East Coast fans liking a celebration
closer to home for them and all of the OC members do live closer to Gatlinburg.
I will miss them greatly in Forks. I want to be selfish and not share. I wish
that event the best and hope I can be forgiven for wanting to be selfish. I
will share information for that event, but not with much enthusiasm.
Twilight Saga is an emotional experience. It has changed lives, mine included. I
am disappointed in the unprofessional way the Forks Chamber of Commerce acted
to sabotage the St Helens event. It is sad and tragic. There is time for my
emotions to calm before SMD happens. It will not be the same without the Olympic
Coven. I will miss them as the coven and the actors as friends.
is very unlikely that I will be able to attend the August event. I am glad I had
the opportunity of seeing most of the Olympic Coven one last time at the Cullens’
Winter Escape event and to thank them. They have given much pleasure in portraying
the Cullen family as a family. Fun to watch them interacting as a family and with
the nomads and Volturi guests. It has been a pleasure to talk with the actors
as well. I wish all the best in their personal and professional lives. Be Safe.
Live long and prosper. May the Force be with you. God bless you and yours. Take