Thursday, January 31, 2008
Have you registered yet? It only takes a moment ... and the conference is free. So now, while you're thinking about it, go get your calendar and mark off May 2-9. Then click here to register!
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I was touched and delighted when both Kate Wicker and Elena Maria nominated "Silent Canticle" for the Excellence Award (Kathleen made her original nomination for both SC and "Mommy Monsters," and I posted her award -- along with the rules of the award -- here).
Rather than name ten more "Excellence Worthy" mom blogs (and there are at least that many), I'd like to give this award to a number of sites that I've found especially helpful as a writer. The "blogs behind the blog," if you will. They are:
AdoptionBlogs.com: A never-failing source of article ideas (and real-life advice) on adoption and foster care.
People of the Book: News and other tidbits on the publishing world -- including a master list of contact information for various Catholic publishing houses. (Jim Manney of Loyola Press, author)
Catholic Writer's Guild: This networking group for Catholic writers is co-hosting (with Canticle) the first-ever Catholic Writer's Conference Online May 2-9.
Catholic Online: The entire site is a "must browse," but I find their "Feasts and Angels" listing particularly helpful.
Dignity of Women: A helpful website for those who want to better understand the Church's teaching on the role and vocation of women.
Online Newspapers.com: An online resource for newspapers from all over the world. The online listing of Catholic diocesan papers is here.
The Vatican: Includes translations of papal encyclicals and Church documents (including the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" and "Code of Canon Law") as far back as you'd care to read.
Index is here. The New American Bible online is here.
Writings of the Early Church Fathers: Although the site was compiled by a Protestant organization, the documents themselves are a helpful resource for anyone wanting to better understand Church history. Another excellent resource for early Church documents here.
Virtual Book Tours: This is a useful service for published authors who would like to help their publisher sell books. It's not free ... but it is a creative and much-needed service in today's publishing market.
Christian Writer's Marketplace: Written by the author of the indispensable resource Christian Writer's Marketplace, Sally Stuart, this blog gives up-to-date information and news items of interest to writers.
Have you found other websites particularly helpful? Please add a comment!
Veritas suggests "Catholic Education."
Sunday, January 27, 2008
I'm so grateful our spiritual leaders now understand the dynamics behind a suicide, the mental anguish that mitigates the circumstances and enables us to entrust that soul, too, to the mercy of God.
Dear, Sweet Jesus: Take this troubled sheep, Phil, into your Sacred Heart. May he rest, safe and without a care, in your tender arms.
Blessed Mother: You watched your Son die violently before your eyes, and can identify with this sorrowful widow. Intercede powerfully before the throne of grace for this couple, that he will be at peace ... and her sorrow will turn not to bitterness, but to love perfected.
For more information, go to Donna-Marie's blog here.
Here's an update.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
If you want to get fur flying (or at least a spirited discussion going) in a writer’s group, ask the Million Dollar Question:
Very quickly, two camps emerge: Those who are trying to pay the bills with their craft, and those who write for reasons that are less tangible, but (at least to them) just as less important: serving God and His Church, or cultivating a “writer’s platform” – a consistent readership that demonstrates to prospective publishers an author’s ability to market his or her own books. Still other writers are simply trying to hone their skills, or express their views on a particular issue.
Much of the time, I tend to fall in the second category – as do many people who publish their work online, either on blogs or websites such as Catholic Exchange. Our labors are rewarded with something less tangible than a paycheck. The payoff varies from one individual to the next. Most days I consider writing a form of ministry; and yet, part of me enjoys other “perks” as well: seeing how many (and/or what kind) of comments are posted in response to an article, how many (and whose) blogs have me on their blogroll, or how much traffic my blogs generate.
This kind of sleuthing can backfire: Occasionally I’ll scan the blogroll of a site I visit regularly and obsess over why my blog isn’t listed on their blogroll – and feel as though I’m in high school all over again, upset at not being invited to the “right” parties. (A friend of mine – who is listed on almost every Catholic blogroll I’ve ever encountered – wisely counseled me to concentrate on producing good-quality content, and the rest would come in time.)
Sometimes my writer’s angst manifests itself on a more pragmatic level. Like many freelance writers, I depend on a handful of long-term clients, from which I generate most of my income. The other day I panicked when it looked as though I might lose one of my larger clients due to budget cuts. As I took stock of the situation, I began to wonder if I had been unwise to put so many eggs in one basket – if it had truly been God’s will, rather than my own, that I invest so much of my time this way. Happily, the situation resolved itself in my favor … but still I wondered if it might be wise to diversify my time more, so I wasn’t so dependent on that particular source of income.
As I pondered the situation (“praying about it” would be stretching it a bit), I noticed an e-mail from a second client – someone who had used my services regularly a few years back, but stopped when he was promoted to a different position within the organization. He wanted to check on the status of an invoice for a project I had done for them two years ago, generating fees of nearly two thousand dollars. It turned out that my computer system had switched over around that time, and I’d lost track of that particular invoice. He promised to process the payment immediately.
I could feel a gentle tap on my heart as I tapped out a quick e-mail of thanks to the editor. See? You don’t have to worry, that still small voice reminded me. You just keep doing your best work where I’ve planted you, and leave the finances to me.
Throughout the Gospels, we read of men and women who were given certain talents and held accountable – for better or worse – for how they used those talents. Those who hid the talents in the ground were chastised; those who used their talents to the best of their ability were blessed with their Master’s favor. While this spiritual principle does not always translate into a steady stream of cash, this much is certain: The Master we serve has promised that, if we are faithful, He will supply all our needs.
Do you have a “way with words” that you would like to develop? Are you interested in learning more about the publishing industry – how it works, and how you can be a part of it? Or would you simply like to learn more about current communication technologies – blogs and podcasts and virtual booktours? Join us for the first annual Catholic Writer’s Conference Online, hosted by the Catholic Writer’s Guild and “Canticle” Magazine. The conference, which will be held May 2-9 and conducted entirely on the Internet, is free of charge – but registration is required. For more information or to register, click here.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
This is an excellent opportunity for all writers who want to "polish" their skills; in addition to forums targeting those who want to write books and magazine articles, editors will be hosting chat rooms in which you can actually pitch your ideas and get useful feedback. (I will be hosting forums on writing query letters and good writing habits, as well as a chat where you can pitch me ideas for "Canticle".)
Best of all, it's free! Early registration is highly recommended, as sessions will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can sit at your computer all week ... or just for an hour here and there, as suits your schedule. To register or for more information, click here.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Susan is a member of the Third Order of Discalced Carmelites and comes to us from "The Catholic Standard and Times," the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, where she served for six years as a Correspondent. She has won numerous national awards for her work and has published several books, including two historical fiction novels, a book on Carmelite prayer entitled Lord Teach us to Pray and a book on the fraudulent research of Alfred C. Kinsey entitled The Kinsey Corruption, published by Ascension Press.
Sue has devoted her life and talents to building up the Church and tearing down the culture of death, and is pleased that the Lord has called her to LHLA/Women of Grace to continue this vocation. Susan is single and writes for us from her home in Horsham, Pennsylvania.
From your mouth to God's ears, dear Elizabeth. Enjoy, all!
Friday, January 18, 2008
This year she received an unexpected gift at Christmas: Her husband slipped her a note in the middle of Mass, which said that he had been going to RCIA classes without her knowledge, and that he was preparing to enter the Church at this Easter Vigil! She writes:
Yes, God is good. All the time. Please remember in your prayers the Bossert family as they prepare for her husband's big day!
This, from a husband who said (rather vehemently) that he would never become Catholic.
I had no idea that while I was reading When Only One Converts, he was studying the Catechism. He made my RCIA leader (from two years ago) - who is now his RCIA leader - promise not to say anything until he was sure.
This is a miracle that I prayed for, at every Mass and during my hour of Adoration (Friday mornings between 3 and 5 AM). I will not ramble further. Just to know that I came home in 2005 - the daughter of a Presbyterian minister and the (annulled) former wife of a UM minister. And I had been told by my Baptist husband that I would never share the joy of Our Eucharistic Lord with him. In fact, my defense of the faith (when directed at him) was a great annoyance. I could convert. And he relented and said our daughter could join me. But he never would. And that was a
It was an ache that didn't go away. I have written inspirational articles for many venues, but the one I longed to see come home had assured me that my words and efforts were a pure waste of time when it came to him.
And I suppose they were, until you factor in grace.
Christmas miracles do happen even today. I know, one of the greatest miracles happened in my family.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
If the March/April issue of "Canticle" feels a bit heftier than usual, it's because it will be ... eight pages, to be exact. We are going to be including a special "Easter insert," with articles to help you get more out of the Easter season. We've designed it so you can pull out the insert (when you're done with it) and give it to a friend or family member who might benefit: a new convert, someone interested in the Church, or a neighbor who never seems to return your issue when the postman puts it in her box by mistake!
Monday, January 07, 2008
I read your "insurrection" column and loved it! I hope you see the true humor in it. And thanks for putting yourself "out there" like that! It will help others. Also, it reminds me that always, always, we write beyond the place we are able to fully live. We "know" the truth; we see it. It's part of what leads us forward by faith. Writing keeps us accountable!
Karina Fabian is hard at work on the Online Writer's Conference that will be held the week of May 9. We have a number of excellent presenters already ... For more information, or to register (it's free ... donations accepted), click here.
This week I came across two great online resources you might like to know about. First, the Catholic Media Review, which is a great source of information not only about movies but television and other blogs as well. They directed me to the second resource, CRI (Catholic Radio International), which has started a new show called "Cover to Cover." This weekend I listened to the autobiography of Emaculee Ilibagiza, Rawandan genocide survivor, entitled Left to Tell. I'd been meaning to read it ... and thanks to this site, I got to listen to it for free!
Last but not least (if you're still reading), I need an article about Pentecost and the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer for the May issue of "Canticle." Any takers?
Friday, January 04, 2008
Warm, hearty congratulations to these pro-active Catholics!
Jean at Catholic Fire
Letitia at Causa Nostrae Laetitiae
Scott at Good News Film Reviews
Julie at Happy Catholic
Christine at The World ... IMHO
March Hare at The Mad Tea Party
I'm not sure if Katie Wicker advised you that our dear angel, Adah Gerardo, died on December 27th surrounded by her family. I wanted to let you know how very touched Adah was by the Canticle article. She cried tears of joy as I read it to her. Also, it is a wonderful legacy for her family. Many thanks for bringing joy and comfort to the last days of this beautiful woman's life.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Upcoming titles in the series and submission deadlines for each are as follows:
Miracles of Nature, 1/20 -- this one can include the wonder of nature as well as storm stories, mountain stories, river stories, and the like. Try NOT to make it so much about "rescues" since we already have a Miracles and Rescues book. And try NOT to do animal stories, since we already did Miracles and Animals.
Miracles in Tough Times, 2/11 -- this can be about staying close to God in spite of losses, such as the loss of loved ones, money, health. It can also be about marriage difficulties, racial conflicts, teens/homeless living on the street, single parents, social alienation, and much more.
Submitting a Story for When Miracles Happen
We are accepting submissions of stories anywhere from 1,200 to 2,200 words in length. Each story should be a first-person narrative written in a simple, dramatic, anecdotal style with a spiritual point that the reader can "take away" and apply to his or her own life. The story may be the writer's own or one written in the first person for someone else. Each story should be authentic and genuine, and any concrete facts should be true and verifiable. NOTE: Any article submitted will be considered in final form and approved by the author and the person featured in the story, except for minor editorial corrections as necessary to comply with standard grammatical rules and Guideposts' in-house style. Rights and fees will be negotiated upon acceptance of manuscript.
For additional details, send me an e-mail and I'll forward the full e-mail to you.