Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Countdown to a (Same-Sex) Wedding #2

6 Weeks to Go

This post is a little later than I intended, but it's been a busy long weekend: we spent 4 days completely redecorating our living room. It looks absolutely fabulous if we do say so ourselves! It's made the place feel properly "ours" and we couldn't be happier.

So this week I want to write about some of the people we've encountered on our wedding organisation journey.

It's always a little daunting when we walk into a shop and the attendant says "so, who's the bride?". Explaining that we both are, and no we're not sisters/best friends, and that yes it's the same wedding, usually takes up the first few minutes of any interaction. There's always a little apprehensive feeling: how will they react? The hope is for acceptance; the expectation is generally tolerance.

What we never expected was enthusiasm!

Without fail, everyone we have dealt with has reacted in a manner indistinguishable to the reaction you would expect as a heterosexual bride. People have been excited, interested, thrilled, engaged, eager to help. A little curious sometimes about how it all works, but never indecently so, and always with a warm and welcoming manner. We have been SO impressed. The attitude of vendors has exceeded all expectations and made us feel truly at home in the wedding supply landscape.

Here's a shout-out to some people and companies who have made our journey so enjoyable:
Christine at Crystal Breeze in Kingston-upon-Thames, where we bought my dress;
Jessy (we think that was her name) at The Wedding Dress Factory Outlet, who found Ellie's perfect dress after we picked up the wrong sizes and were running out of time;
The ladies at H. Samuel in Hemel Hempstead, who not only sorted out our engagement rings but wave and smile at us whenever we pass in the mall; and
Kerry of Kerry Steeden Couture, whose genius as a seamstress is seeing our lovely dresses shortened without losing their loveliness.

There have also been numerous other people, encountered in passing, who have entered into the spirit and made us feel good.

Cynically, one might think that people in the wedding industry know their business and put on a good show for their customers whatever their private beliefs, but we've never been given reason to think that about anyone. Without exception, everyone we have dealt with has seemed genuinely happy for us. We think that's amazing, and it gives us such good vibes for the future.

Friday, June 1, 2012


I'm setting myself a bit of a challenge as a writer at the moment: to plot/plan my new work only, with no scripting or writing permitted, for two months.

In my early 20s, I worked very hard on what I intended to be my first novel. But in 2004, at around the 20,000 mark, I hit fatal plot flaws and had to abandon all the work I'd done on it. The failure of that novel attempt really shook me up. Since then, I've barely written more than a couple of thousand words on any project, and that rarely. I'd say that in the past 6 years my output of genuine novel composition would barely top 10,000 words.

Initially, I went into planning overdrive. I was so fixated on not getting part way through then falling down that I refused to let myself write without having every itty bitty detail sorted out. So I spent countless hours fidgeting with character profiles and defining currencies and making maps and generally avoiding doing the actual writing bit.

Then, I got frustrated with myself for never writing anything, forbade any further procrastination, and forced myself to just write.

This went about as well as you might expect... my characters rocketed through their (well-imagined) starting scenarios then drifted aimlessly as I had no clear idea of how to get them from there to the intended finishing point. I've always been good at starting scenarios, but fine-detail plotting is more of a challenge. Without it, I was sunk. Repeatedly.

So I've decided to try giving myself a timeline and boundaries. Between now and the end of my honeymoon, writing is prohibited, but I have to spend a bit of time planning every single day. Any and all planning is allowed, including obsessive world-building, but by the end of those two months I have to have a workable chapter and scene list.

At the end of those two months, I have one month to write as fast as I can. The planning should be done and I will have 4 weeks of school holidays in which to pour out something resembling the first few chapters of a YA fantasy novel.

When school goes back I don't know what will happen, but hopefully I will have developed good planning and writing habits that will allow me to keep going at a gentler pace.

The honeymoon is a good marker for all of this, as I'm going on my first ever cruise and seeing 5 new cities in 3 new countries, so I'll head into the writing stage full of new inspiration and atmosphere. Seeing bits of France and Spain for the first time (and Guernsey!) can't help but fuel creativity, right?