Archive for January, 2011

Religious Relief

January 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Yesterday I saw something that you rarely see in real life.  In the back pew of the church I attended was a family with five boys, a father and a mother.  The boys were seated in a row in perfect height (and probably age) order.  They all had matching white dress shirts and fresh haircuts.  Except for the baby, all the boys adhered religiously to the choreography of Catholic mass.  Stand up.  Sit down.  Kneel.  Say this.  Cross yourself now.  That was ridiculed all the way back in 1965 when The Sound of Music was released.

I didn’t like all the chattering, hanging out in the aisles and running around in the sanctuary after mass, but I’ll admit that seeing a young-ish father dancing while his teenage daughter rolled her eyes felt a lot more alive and reverent to me than the family of five matching boys.  I’m all for tradition, but life is what really gives me hope for the Church.


Reading — to Write

January 18, 2011 Leave a comment
It seems like every time I sit down to write, I end up reading.  That’s not to say that I never write, after all, I’m writing now; but writing, at least the writing I do, requires A LOT of reading.  If I make a resolution that I’ll enter at least one contest every month, I have to research every contest to determine which essay or story I’ve written is best suited for entry.  Researching contests means reading what has won in the past and, if the contest is connected with a journal, reading past issues of the journal — which often leads to the question, “Why not just submit?”, which means reading submission requirements and scouring web-sites for rights information.  And all that reading doesn’t even take into account the activities of looking for an agent and prospecting a new book; both of which open new cans of reading worms.  And fiction writers “should” be familiar with novels and writers, both classic and contemporary (I’ve never read anything by James Baldwin and the volumes of half-read books on my shelves is truly embarrassing).  And the experts tell us that our writing will be better if we stop reading and writing sometimes and do other things like exercise or get massages.  And our spouses want us to watch movies with them…

Honestly!  By most mainstream standards, I’m a voracious reader; yet every agent website I visit, every conversation I have with other writers, every contest that I enter, reminds me of how far behind I am in my reading.  How fondly I remember the old days – when I was only a reader.

Interesting (Non-sequitur) Wedding Facts

January 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Wedding Cake:  The bride and groom create a special bond when they share the abundance of the union by feeding each other cake.  The bridegroom traditionally puts his hand on top of the bride’s when she is cutting the first piece of cake to symbolize that he will always protect her.  The wheat used to bake the cake is symbolic of fertility (help!  four boys is plenty!), while the cake’s sweetness is thought to bring sweetness to all areas of the couple’s new life. Traditionally, the top layer of the wedding cake is frozen and eaten by the bride and groom on their first wedding anniversary.  If the cake lasts, so too will the marriage; if the cake doesn’t last, the freezer is broken.

We decided to make our wedding cake round for sure when we found out that food in a round shape is good luck for New Year’s Day.  We decided not to put our guests at risk by burying coins in the cake.

Wedding date and colors:  Wednesday is the luckiest wedding day.  Saturday, the most popular day in America (and the day of our wedding), has no luck associated with it at all.  June is the luckiest month to marry.  January is very good too.  May is the worst.  Rain on a wedding day is inconvenient, but lucky.  White and pink are the best colors for the bride to wear.  Black (the color of my shoes and accessories) is the worst.  I didn’t find anything about plum (the color of my dress), but Joe called me, “a delicious piece of fruit,” so I think plum turned out to be an OK color for me.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue: Something old signifies the bride’s link with her past life.  Something new represents a new future.  Something borrowed should be something from a happily married friend or relative.  And blue symbolizes purity and love. 

Wedding Ring Placement:  The left hand is generally used less often than the right and the third finger is the only one that cannot be moved in isolation from the other fingers.  These two factors give extra protection to the ring.