Monthly Archives: June 2011

The fairy tale ending

The groom was nervous.


There’s no other way to put it. We’d pushed him right up to his breaking point. He was about to snap.


It was about 7 p.m. Friday, the night before the wedding. We’d all shared a meal and perhaps, collectively, had a tad too much to drink and the rehearsal was spinning dangerously out of control. The bridesmaids and the groomsmen seemed confused about where they were supposed to land after their long flight up the aisle. The flower girl was hesitant.┬áThe assorted assembled parents looked vaguely concerned. This was not going the way any of them had anticipated. We were close to a full meltdown.


I, an occasional wedding minister and veteran of many similar wacky rehearsals, was not worried at all. These things have a way of working themselves out at just the right time. The rehearsal is to get all the crazy out. Everyone settles down for the ceremony. That’s just how it goes.


And they did. And everyone stood in the right place. And the father of the bride elicited a cheer when he had to search for his glasses to give his reading. The flower girl waved a magic wand.


People will remember that the vows seemed to go on forever, though the ceremony was fairly short. I did that on purpose. Everything else goes so fast, it’s easy to forget that moment at the altar, when the bride and groom stand before family and friends, join hands and are about to embark on their journey together. Maybe, if we take an extra moment or two right there, that memory will be more firmly planted. At least, that’s my hope.


Because, before you know it, the ceremony is over, the party begins and the focus shifts to the line at the bar and when they’re going to cut the cake and who should sit where and if the deejay is any good.


The deejay was good, the cake got cut and I didn’t worry about a line at the bar because my last-minute date is very well-trained. All in all, I’d chalk that up as a fairy tale ending.


Congrats and best wishes to Jay and Sharese. And thank you for letting me be a part of your celebration.




Posted by on June 20, 2011 in Uncategorized


Christel made me do it.

I’m not sure I have much to write that will make any sort of sense. All my words seem to be jumbled up these last few days. Too much going on. Not enough going on. I’m not entirely sure which is more accurate. Or more influential on this word-jumble-thing I’ve got going on.


But I have to write something because Christel said I should.


And she’s right.


Writers write. It’s what we do. Even if it doesn’t make sense when it comes out, we write it anyway with the hope that maybe it can be edited into submission later on.


I stole a quote off Neil Gaiman’s Twitter feed the other day that sums up where I am now: It’s such a tiny distance between cockiness and despair for a writer, based only on whether what you wrote that afternoon was any good.


Neil speaks truth. However, what he doesn’t mention is that an afternoon of crappy writing can easily bring a writer down for weeks. We’re delicate creatures. We’re easily distracted. We’re easily discouraged. We’re nearly impossible to deal with. It’s a wonder anything ever gets written, let alone published.


I’m lucky in that I have a network of friends who don’t seem to mind terribly when I show up unannounced and plant myself in their living rooms or kitchens or across the coffee shop table from them and don’t speak to them in full sentences while I’m trying to wrestle words onto the page in an order that might someday make sense to someone other than myself. And I’m especially lucky that some of them are writers themselves and they don’t seem to mind terribly when I ramble on and on about train schedules in Scotland or the Basilica in Minneapolis or any number of other obscure things I think I need to know about before I start the next chapter.


And when I decide to stop writing for a while, I’m lucky enough to have people like Christel who tell me I’m full of crap and that I’m wasting time and that I should just write something, ANYTHING.


So, back to writing. I did this dumb thing a couple weeks ago that put all the main characters from the two big pieces I’m working on in the same place at the same time and I have to figure out how to untwist them and get them back on their proper paths. I think I need a wall-sized cork board and about 300 index cards. And somewhere to put it. And maybe some highlighters. I’m pretty sure this is NOT how Neil does it.


Posted by on June 15, 2011 in Writing