What happened to the sunshine? Tuesday was such a pretty day. Seems, though, that spring was teasing us, and March will come in like the proverbial lion. We apparently got precipitation overnight, but all was dry this morning, despite scary TV coverage of fender-benders and icy bridges. Jordan and I got out for a quick grocery run, and then I was in for the day.
It was a soup for lunch, a good book, and a long nap kind of a day. The kind of day when I sit at my desk with a sweater around my shoulders and my prayer shawl draped across my lap. Talk about stereotypes of a little old lady! All I need is a cat and some African violets. Still, it’s the kind of day when you never really get toasty warm.
I have a bad case of the lazies. Spent the late day mostly reading—yes, some in social media—but the book that should really capture my attention is the one I’m supposedly writing. I wrote 500 words, far short of my daily goal but that’s okay. This is the book I tell myself I’m not being compulsive about finishing. I did have a revelation today—about the naming of characters. The protagonist is Cordelia Smith—she makes a fuss about that highfalutin first name with such a simple last night. I gave her Cordy for a nickname, but it never sounded right to my ear. So today I played with nicknames and came up with Delia—I have known women named Delia. But then it occurred to me that in childhood her name might have become Dilly in the speech of other children. I think that fits her personality. At least I’ll try it on her for a while.
Dilly is an assistant to a haughty, pretentious TV chef (with no real reasons for pretension) whose name is Irene Foxglove. I like the play of a chef, fixing food, with a last name that is also a poisonous plant. Too much? I think I even have a title for this fledgling novel—either Saving Irene or Protecting Irene. Opinions welcome. See the conundrums authors deal with, in comparison to weighty matters like the future of our planet?
And since I’m worrying about language in my writing, I’ll share a concern. My church, in its drive to be inclusive (which I much admire and applaud), has announced a change in wording. The word “Creator” may be substituted for “Father”—it’s that gender thing, you know. But if you feel comfortable with “Father,” in say the Doxology, you are welcome to say it. I’m just old-fashioned enough that I do prefer the traditional language. I even wrote a note to the senior minister expressing my hope that in the rush to be inclusive, church leaders would also consider the flow and beauty of the language.
The words of a traditional hymn, “The Church’s One Foundation,” were changed several years ago to be gender neutral. Here’s the original version:
The church's one foundation
Well, you can see how that upset the gender-neutral applecart. That’s the version I grew up with, and I cannot quote the revised to you. I can only tell you it violates grammatical rules such as subject/pronoun agreement, is awkward, and grates on my ear. It seems significant to me that I could not find the revised lyrics online. I’d like to go on record as believing in the generic pronoun.
So call me traditional, a little old huddled in her prayer shawl. Change is good—but not all the time. I’ll be watching what happens to the language.