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?