Friday, November 30, 2007

Just for Reference

If, for some reason, you didn't get last year's Moir Family Christmas Card, I've put it here for you to see, since this year's card references it. The point is, of course, that nothing can top last year's combination of genius ideas, mad skills, wonderful collaboration and hair gel.

For the record, here are the credits: The original idea to do an album cover was Dan's. I honestly can't remember who came up with doing the Joshua Tree (I think it might have been me, but it could have been a collaborative effort). Dan and I worked together to assemble costumes and coerce Eiledon into portraying a boy (“I don’t WANT to be a boy!!!” “You’re not just being ‘a boy.’ You get to be BONO, probably the coolest man on the planet at this moment!”) and also coerce Gavin into accepting hair gel for his amazing portrayal of Larry Mullen Jr. The glasses I wear as Adam Clayton are my brother’s. This same brother, Dan Fergus (hereafter to be referred to as “Dan F.” for the prevention of complete confusion), took the photo and then brilliantly photo-shopped it over an image of Joshua Tree National Park AND photo-shopped Edge’s hat onto Dan’s head-it was the one costume piece we just couldn’t come up with. The idea of changing “U2” into “Us 4” was Dan's.

In our quest to share “the real us” with our loved ones at Christmas through sometimes odd but hopefully always amusing photo cards, we hope we haven’t peaked too early!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What is my problem, anyway?

I can’t tell you how many times I vacillate between the feeling of urgency that I publish and the feeling of peace with just doing the next thing. I want to make money writing novels, plain and simple. But herein lies the dilemma. Publishing, really, is all about self-promotion and it would seem to me that self-promotion is based on ego and self-will and counter to the principle and practice of anonymity as I try to live it. Certainly, I can see my writing as an act of service, particularly after the recent experience of having someone I don't really know read the story of my clinical depression and email me about how much she appreciated it in light of her own struggle. There was no self-promotion in that--her coming upon the article was a happy accident. In keeping with my chosen twelve-step lifestyle, I feel called to work by attraction rather than promotion, but part of me wonders if my work won’t just die on the vine if no one is promoting it.

On the other side of this is the undisputed fact that I have, until recently, been unwilling to do what it takes to write professionally out of fear that my writing will be rejected and I won’t be able to “make it” as a writer simply because I am not good enough. While I am taking baby steps including this website and a commitment to take classes at The Loft Literary Center and start building a “network,” I don’t necessarily feel the call to get out there and promote. Rather, I am fairly content to write what I feel like writing when I feel like writing it and leave the rest to God. But at what point does entrusting my future and any possible material success to God become a convenient cover for retreating into fear and self-doubt? What IS my problem anyway? On the other hand, do I really have one?

Perhaps not.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Re-telling the Story (AGAIN!)

I have to write yet another Sunday School Christmas Program. At first I wondered how many times you can tell the story of Jesus' birth without the congregation falling into a collective snore. So I re-read the beginnings of Matthew, Luke and John. Silly me. As with all truly great literature, each time I read the Bible I find something new and beautiful within the oh-so-familiar words. In particular this morning I was struck by the rich imagery of John's introduction and at the moment I am trying to get my brain around how young and not-so-young children might bring this imagery to life for the congregation within the context of the traditional nativity they love to act out. Off I go! Rehearsals start next Sunday!

Oh, and by the way: I JUST SAW SNOW!!!!!!! Just sayin’.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Dessert Waltz

I had dinner with my family the other night. Sixteen of us in my parents' little house. The six grandkids sat squashed around a small table under the dining room window while we four grown kids and our spouses and mom and dad crowded around the table that in my childhood comfortably sat six.

Joyful chaos ensued--multiple simultaneous conversations, kids being loud and nutty, references from movies, family jokes, singing, laughing and the occasional, “Ok, that’s enough!” from one parent or another when the kids got TOO loud. At one point, I accidentally sent some of my salad sailing behind me onto the floor. Only my husband noticed and we laughed at my coordination issues while the din swirled around us.

The kids finished eating first and five of the six, all ages 6-9, escaped the dining room for the playroom downstairs. The eleven-year-old planted herself on her mom’s lap: one more around my childhood table.

Next came dessert. Mom brought out a pumpkin pie, an apple pie, a cake for all the fall family birthdays, a pot of regular coffee, a pot of decaf, a can of whipped cream and a carton of half and half.

With no plan, no instructions, we took up items and began to serve one another. I poured decaf. My husband poured regular. My sister-in-law cut pumpkin pie, my sister the cake. For a few moments, out of the seeming disorder emerged a beautiful dance.

“This is for you, Jen,” I said passing coffee. She passed pie to my brother-in-law. “This is for Thor.” “Can I have an interior piece of cake?” asked my brother. “This one’s for Dad,” said Kathy. “Who needs the half and half?” asked my dad.

There is a scene in The Fisher King, my favorite movie of all time, when the bustling crowds of Grand Central Station suddenly coalesce into a choreographed waltz. It is a breathtaking moment. I got this same sensation as the dessert was passed. Conversations continued, laughter rang out, hands reach across the table above and below other outstretched hands. For a time the sense of communion was beautiful and complete.

As in The Fisher King the moment passed and the jumble resumed. But when I left that place and headed home, I was elated. I imagined Bilbo Baggins intoning, “Dwarves have a strange notion of perfection,” and I thought, “Let me be a dwarf, then, because THAT was a perfect evening.”

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Perfectionism: A Double-Edged Sword?

I have just posted my children's book, One Among Many. It’s about how we don’t have to be the best or perfect at things because God sees us as He created us. That being said, in the world of HTML, perfection is a requirement, as I discovered when both my husband and my brother independently informed me that my e-mail link for comments didn’t work. The good news? My brother told me how to fix it. It’s so great to have a web designer in the family!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Comments, Anyone?

Of course, this isn’t exactly a user-friendly blog since I don't know how to program it so you can post comments. I guess if you want to comment you'll have to e-mail me and let me post it (which I gladly will!!) I didn't like any of the templates for the ready-made Yahoo! blogs and I didn't feel like trying to figure out how to adapt their programming to my look and feel. Dammit, Jim, I'm a writer not a computer programmer!!!!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Using a Mac in a PC World

Many thanks to genius Dan Fergus for pointing out two very simple coding errors that caused the site not to render properly in Internet Explorer. I think the quote on the homepage still runs over the box in IE but that little detail can wait a bit. I continue to post content on the site and have almost gotten everything up on the Drama page. Mostly church plays. Looking back, I realize that my church involvement, more than anything else, kept me writing regularly when I believed it was “novels or nothing.” In many ways, because they were almost all performed publicly, I have already “published” in this arena. Hope to have my Easter play up today and then I will move on to posting some of my articles, essays and other. Novels will probably be last as I really want to spend time composing and polishing the summaries and plot synopses. Being paid to write novels is, of course, my ultimate goal. Check out the new picture on my “Contact” page. Tee hee.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Technical Difficulties and Second Thoughts

So the site looks great on Safari and whatever pc browser my friend Tri has but in two cases so far, Internet Explorer doesn't seem to like my frameset. I will be calling upon the web design “mad skills” of my brother to see if I can’t get it figured out. Meanwhile, I continue to add content daily and after posting a very personal dream I had, I started to wonder if it wasn’t a bit, well, too much. I have already shared it with several individual friends of mine, but somehow sticking it out there in cyberspace is much more scary, like I’m just hanging out there naked. I can only imagine the conclusions one might draw from reading it. Then again, as we say in my program, what other people think of me is none of my business. If someone can relate and find it helpful, that should be all that matters, right? Right?

Friday, September 28, 2007

My Very First Post

I have spent hours on line looking at a variety of blogs.  My conclusion is that anything goes, pretty much.  I tried blogging at but I don't want to have to maintain a bunch of different sites.  I'm not even sure what the point of a blog really is unless I'm some kind of an authority on something whose opinion matters.  The whole idea of blogging sort of goes against my beliefs about restraint of tongue and pen (see "My Blog" at right--No, the other right).  On the other hand, if I actually do get this baby off the ground, this could be a good way for me to communicate with interested parties.   The jury's still out.