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’.