Adventures into the Madness

The Art of Play


I was watching my daughter prepare a gourmet restaurant meal for me the other day at her play kitchen.  After asking me if I wanted marshmallows in my hot tea, she busily measured out a cup of water, poured it into the sauce pan, and then turned on the burner.  What fascinated me was not the way she creatively put chopped vegetables into the pan along with my tea (what a timesaver!) but the detail with which she went about her imaginary cooking.

She held the cup under the faucet for exactly the amount of time it would take to fill it.  She tilted her head as she twisted the knob on the burner exactly like you would to check the temperature and make sure the burner had turned on.  She waited impatiently (complete with exaggerated sigh) for the water to heat and the tea to be ready.  There was a moment when I was looking at her faucet to make sure it hadn’t actually started spouting out real water!

It strikes me that this is very much what a writer must accomplish in a story.  Using tools at hand, a writer must imitate the motions and patterns and emotions of a character or setting so thoroughly that a reader will begin to forget that the faucet is imaginary and the tea invisible.  It wasn’t the end result of my daughter’s tea that convinced me of its authenticity, it was her attention to those minute, but important, details in the creation of it. (I sense theatre in her future…)

And who could have guessed that marshmallows were such a tasty topping on tea?

How to pick a WordPress Theme


Since I worked up the courage to post my first post, I have been thinking more about the blog and what it should be, do, look like as I devote more attention to it in the months to come.  I have dabbled with wordpress.com on a group blog project, and was familiar enough with blog style and layout to have an inkling of what role a theme plays on a site.

So this is what I did.  First I asked a professional (aka web developer hubby who snapped up my domain on a lark and has been bugging me to blog ever since).  He tells his clients to look at competitors and come up with a list of sites that they like.  I did this by actually clicking through to the several blogs I read daily.  Then I started looking at free themes, one at a time.  I made a list of any that appealed to me for any reason, keeping in mind the other blogs .  After looking at dozens, I realized that my favorites had at least one of three consistent elements:  blue color palette, swirly graphics, and a two colum, right nav layout where the posts were distinct and prominent.

Once my preferences were more specific, I skimmed several more sites until I found this one.  It’s blue with pretty, swirly designs, and a clean layout for posts.

And MOST importantly?  Writing about picking themes pushes out the moment when I have to write about something actually interesting!

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