Monday, March 31, 2008

Can your query pass the Seven Second Test?

These and other pressing questions will be answered in my presentation: "The Good Writer: Seven Healthy Habits of Successful Writers" during the Catholic Writer's Conference Online May 2-9.

Registration is FREE (donations accepted), but you must register by April 25.

You haven't registered yet? Why ever NOT? Please ... just click here! You can go for an hour, or spend the whole week online.

Go ... enjoy!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Canticle update...

Hello! Just back from vacation, and wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that in the next few days I will have the cover and "name list" for the May/June issue. Right now I'm pulling together the July/August (universal Church) and Sept/Oct (back to school) issues.

We will be doing another special insert for the November/December issue -- a Christmas themed 8-page spread, in case you have a Christmas-related article you'd like to submit. (Perhaps one tied to a spectacular Christmas recipe?)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Why are Catholics leaving the Church?

Recently on Inside Catholic, a significant report was published on why Catholics are leaving the Church. What made this report so significant, in my view, was not simply that 35000 people were surveyed ... but that 35 of some of the most respected figures in Catholic circles broke the uncomfortable silence and spoke out on the subject.

One of these was "Global Watch" contributer Mary Jo Anderson. And so I invite you to check it out!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

From Denise Bossert ... For those who want to write

Dear Heidi, I received this in an email from a dear friend and fellow Catholic freelance writer. It is so good that I wanted to share it with others - especially Catholic writers. I have battled my own will and desire to publish, and probably will again, if not with writing, with some other "good" that I seek to do. Blessings on your writing and all those whose lives you touch, both readers and writers. May Our Lord's name be ever praised.

Here is a passage from the book, The Deceiver:"[Satan] is devoured by pride . . . . He freely injects into us this poison which is his trademark, polluting even the good things we do in life. He pushes us to excell above others, to enforce our talents and strengths, to organize our lives based on the desire for worldly success, seeking always consent, approval, and applause from others. Satan exerts himself without our awareness, to take us away from God, feeding the cult of our 'selves' in the secret of our hearts. . . . All for Jesus, through Mary, D.E.B.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hurry ... only 3 days left!

Are you planning to order Heidi's new book "Behold Your Mother: Mary Stories and Reflections from a Catholic Convert"? You have just three more days to take advantage of the free shipping offer (for all books shipped in the continental U.S.). To take advantage of this offer, click here.

This makes a great Easter or Mother's Day gift!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"Tender Mercies" article: more on Rudolph Hoess/Auschwitz

As I prepared to post this article on CE on Mercy Sunday, I came across this chilling link, courtesy of the New York Times, a photo album by one of the camp's commanders that reveals what daily life was like for the officers. What a startling contrast to that of the victims inside the camp!

What I appreciate about seeing this is recognizing that those who were running the camp were by all appearances ordinary people -- not snarling monsters devoid of soul. They had wives and children, took holidays and vacations. They picked blueberries and enjoyed picnics. And, together, the committed one of the greatest atrocities in human history, with millions of innocent lives exterminated.

In my article (published in the Lent issue), I reflect on how the mercy of God is so vast, so far-reaching, that any soul that craves that mercy can find it. In this album, we are reminded just how destructive the power of evil -- though not so powerful nor far-reaching as God's Mercy -- can be for those who do not seek out that Mercy.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Writers Tips: Online Book Promotions

I recently hired Cheryl Malandrinos at "Pump Up Your Book Online Promotion" to do a virtue book tour and other online promotional efforts for my new book Behold Your Mother as well as its related blog.

In preparation for the tour, she had me sign up with a number of online social networks, some of which I'm still trying to figure out. Yesterday I posted an old chestnut on "Gather," the story of how I got started writing. Thought you might enjoy it. Click here.

For those of you who are already published authors and have been promoting your book online, would you mind sharing some of the social and search engine groups that you've found particularly effective? (For example, one of the groups she recommended was "Me.Dium," but it seems awfully complicated. Have any of you subscribed?

Thank you, Jean!

Jean Heimann at Catholic Fire sent me this lovely bouquet today ... It was just what I needed, with everyone in our house down with the flu!
I'd like to pass this on to some lovely ladies (and one rugged man) who make my job at Canticle so much fun. I've also added the blogs of our columnists and regular contributers as a special feature here on SC. Also to Tom Sullivan, who hosts a blog about his son Gabriel, who is battling leukemia. (If you don't like flowers, Tom, being the fearsome warrior you are, pass them along to Carol.)
Hugs and blessings!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Subscription renewal feedback... update

Dear Canticleers:

Today I got a message from Rita Perstac, the VP of Operations at LHLA/WoG/Canticle, saying that they are in the process of upgrading the system that captures renewals and alerts subscribers. (At present, the date of last issue is on the label of the magazine.)

She has asked me to have any questions regarding subscriptions directed to her at rperstac(at)lhla(dot)org or jspencer(at)lhla(dot)org. They will be happy to help you until the system becomes more automated.

Thanks for your patience and perseverance!


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Don't Forget to Vote...

The Catholic Blog Awards are collecting votes right now. Click here to vote for your favorite blogs! (And thank you to whomever nominated SC for "Best inside information" blog)

Changing the subject for just a moment ... I was alerted to the fact that some of you have been trying to resubscribe (or check your subscriptions) and had trouble getting through on the 800 number. I was told today that two of their three CS reps were out for medical reasons, and poor Jennifer had to hold down the fort alone. Thanks for persevering ... and for patience!

Tom is fixing the online store so you will no longer be charged S&H for your subscription. Thanks, Tom!

Prayer Requests: Update on Melissa Hackney

Kathleen Miller (The Daily Grotto) sent me this update on Melissa, the young woman who is battling cancer.

Kathleen says that Melissa will have the bone marrow transplant on Tuesday, March 11th at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time. Friends of the family have asked that everyone please pray a rosary for her at that time