Showing posts with the label writing

Writing, a Raven and Pallas

Once upon an evening dreary, while I pondered, fogged and bleary, Over many a disconnected fragment of erratic text, While I dithered, nearly dozing, suddenly I started thinking: I should be sleeping!...

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The Dream

He woke, heart racing, breathless, wet with sweat, in the starlit time before dawn. He shuddered when something touched his arm. It was his wife.

"Again?" she asked, rolling her belly onto him. Soon she would bear his first child.

"Again," he gasped. He waited until his breath came more easily. "The same thing. It was awful."

She waited. He would talk soon. Perhaps then he would sleep.

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Navel-Gazing in August

Someone said "write what you know." It was definitely Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Nathan Englander, or somebody else.

I've mostly seen the quote applied to writing fiction.

Apparently some folks assume that it means authors should only write stories about events they've experienced. That may help explain why fantasy and science fiction stories aren't taken seriously in some circles, and entirely too seriously in others.

Others, including John Briggs, Diablo Cody/Brook Busey-Maurio and Jason Gots, say it means using the author's emotional memories when telling stories. They're professional writers, so I figure they know what they're talking about.

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"A Writer Who is Catholic"

My #3 daughter has some of my qualities, and attitudes.

About four years back now, she vented frustration about writers, faith, and assumptions. She wasn't nearly as loud as I've often been during 'vents.'

When folks learned she's a writer, they'd often say something like 'oh, good: we need more Catholic writers.'

She'd say something like "I'm a writer who is Catholic, not a 'Catholic writer.'"

I know what she means. She isn't writing another 'lives of the Saints,' or book of prayers. She's a Catholic who writes....

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8 tips on Decision to Join Camp NaNoWriMo

Joy of community. Writers go forth. Onward and Upward. God Bless Welcome,
Join me in my camp here. Are you familiar NaNoWriMo? It is National Novel Writing Month. It is a virtual camp for writers to achieve their goals in creative writing. Having tried to do this camp NaNoWriMo thing for years. Finally, I am a participant yeah for me. In July, the writer can choose their own word count. Well, in any camp you can. Just do not let the stress and getting it perfect get to you anymore. My saying is “better done than perfect”. If I reach the goal, great and if I do not great. I am participating, to me that is all that matters right now.                read more

Why I Write

I am part of a little Catholic book called Love Rebel: Reclaiming Motherhood. One of the contributors, Bonnie Way, asked me questions about blogging for her own blog, The Kola Mom. First, tell us a bit about yourself. It took me years to finally decide to start writing again. I had taken a 30-year sabbatical after leaving university to raise nine children. I just couldn’t seem to start writing, probably because the computer still intimidated me before I started blogging. No wonder- I had written all my university papers on a MANUEL typewriter. However, realistically there was simply too much work running a household for eleven people and helping with the farm animals and our large vegetable garden. continue

A Catholic Self-Publishing Video

Well, I have taken the plunge, and officially started to compile my stories into sections for a book.It might take forever to rewrite and edit because my method of writing is pretty basic; I simply  spill out artless slice-of-life stories with little or no revision. I am surprised how many I have actually written. If I include spiritual reflections on family life, I have the book  more than half done with 46,700 words without calling on my adult kids to help trigger my memory. I also entered a first chapter contest.  After finishing two more teaching modules, I will be officially finished the first chapter which is about 9,500 words. To win, I need  people to click on the cheer meon button. Winning simply means promotion on the editor’s website. Perhaps the first stage will be to self-publish a short excerpt with the helping of Connie who is staging a forum to help newbies. If you are interested drop in to register for the 30 minute, free forum tonight and as many times as you want, es…

Homo Erectus Engraving, Long-Lost Relatives

A researcher with a digital camera noticed faint marks on a half-million-old shell. It's the earliest known abstract mark: made by Homo erectus.

Scientists discovered genetic traces of a previously-unknown group of people, Denisovans, in a Neanderthal's DNA a year ago.

Detailed analysis of the Neanderthal DNA reveals details of that Neanderthal family's history: and a few genes from another previously-unknown group....

...The woman we know as KNM ER 3733 lived about 1,700,000 years ago....

...The human family has changed a bit since her time: most of us have shorter arms and legs now; our foreheads are smoother and more nearly vertical; and we're probably better at singing opera. I'll get back to that....

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Beauty, Order, and Pterosaurs

Scientists may have found an upper limit to pterosaur wingspans. A fossil ichthyosaur is our first look at how these marine animals returned to the ocean, and scientists found a spike-headed ankylosaur species.

I'm fascinated by this sort of thing. Your experience may vary....

...I saw the universe as a place of order and beauty before I became a Catholic. Now, I must see it as a place of order and beauty. It's 'in the rules.'...

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Do You Have the Gift of Writing?

I was recently asked to contact a young woman who was attempting to write a book. The request came from a friend whose life in the church has resulted in her path begin crossed with a whole lot of people from all walks of life with all sorts of varying gifts, talents, and calls.
In particular, I was told that the young woman had an “emerging gift of writing” which is why I was asked to meet with her and help in her discernment process. This “emerging gift of writing” is something, according to the friend who made the request, which is happening more and more often in the lay populace.
I agree.
I’m receiving more and more requests from people—everyday people who live their lives as nurses, mothers, engineers, government employees, teachers and even priests—who feel they are being called to write and would like me to help assess if this is a real call or just a wild goose chase. Catholics are on-fire for their faith in a new way and with that fire comes a wish, desire and even a need to be…

Soul Matter

HOW AND WHY I STARTED WRITING  I am a story-teller who regaled family and friends for decades with the exploits of my nine kids and  the large menagerie of farm animals, pets and wild creatures which surrounded our small hobby farm. My kids, friends and even strangers came up to me for years and asked, ” When are you going to start writing?” AND “God is calling you to write.” Yet, two years ago, when I closeted myself in a room to sit down and write, I froze. I considered writing to be a solitary craft but looking at a blank screen or talking into thin air was a sterile exercise in futility for me. I could not translate the same creative energy that I experienced telling a story verbally to the keyboard. My intuitive, imaginative side stayed buried and my logical intellect wrote boring drivel. Then I discovered blogs, blogging sites and blogging directories. I snapped to attention. Suddenly, I was thinking up a username, a title for a blog, looking at templates and design and layout. …

For His Greater Glory (and Those Aren't Just Words)

In December of 2011, right around the time I was finishing up my manuscript for Finding Grace, I began to search the Internet for information about how to go about having it published.  My cyber-travels ultimately led me to this 2007 article about Cheryl Dickow, a former middle school teacher who had started her own Catholic publishing house called Bezalel Books.  I was immediately struck by the thought that I'd started writing Finding Grace in 2007, and that was the same year that this article originally appeared in Catholic Review--and I believe the same year that Cheryl started her company.  I felt an immediate connection with Cheryl and it seemed that God was pointing me in the direction of Bezalel Books.

I will always be grateful that I stumbled upon that particular article about this extraordinary woman at that particular time.
Cheryl Dickow is not only a publisher; she is also an editor, a speaker, a blogger, and a contributor to many Catholic periodicals.  She has written…

The Wardrobe

Once there was a child whose name was Nancy.  This post is about something that happened to her while she was very young...

There was a tall brown wardrobe in Nancy's bedroom.  Mother and Daddy borrowed it just for the few years when they'd be living in a very old house, because there was not a single closet.  No, not even one... (continued here)

According to the Whole

I’ve been writing, furiously, for April. I am participating in the A to Z challenge, writing through the alphabet entire in Catholic, with a twist, of course. About a month or so ago, I created an editorial calendar with ideas for each letter that I could research and write about. The twist, is that I also want to provide a reflection from my point of view, that could be slightly different for the myriad of readers and bloggers participating (over 1,500). This is pretty daunting. How can you keep anyone’s attention for longer than a paragraph? How do you do it if the reader is wholly uninterested in organized religion, let alone Christianity and specifically, Catholicism. That’s my hook. That’s my twist.
What does that mean? It means everything. It’s what being Catholic, for me, means. Kata- according to, holos- the whole. According to the whole. It’s not, as Eddie Izzard (whom I do love, by the way) defines in his stand up: “Catholicism, we believed in the teachings of Cathol and eve…

Rediscovering Playful Writing as a Child of God

When I remember that I am a writer, a born writer, not someone pretending to be a writer by wearing a mask, then work becomes play. God gave me a love of books and an artistic gift of writing and drawing. When I simply relax and enjoy life as a child of God, then I can allow Him to work through my fingers and my imagination. Now we create together. It is a joyful experience.
MY FAMILY’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH BOOKS IS A GENERATIONAL BLESSING. My maternal grandfather, uncles and my mother love to read. I in turn love books.In fact, I have always loved books, reading voraciously as a child. I remember walking slowly home from the library with a tall stack of exciting choices, reading my first choice even before I managed to walk through the front door. My mother would cajole me in the summer, “Well, at least read outside in the fresh air.” read more

Psst! Read Any Ellen Gable Hrkach Books Yet?

I am an English Literature Grad who loves a well written book. I refuse to read pedantic, heavy-handed, moralistic, Catholic books masquerading as fiction. Ellen’s books are anything but. I could hardly put down the first novel I read. My reviews will come next week but first I urge you to pick up one of these novels on Kindle and enjoy well-rounded, realistic characters who will work their way into your heart as they keep you spell-bound, insuring you read well past your usual bedtime. Enjoy! Introducing Ellen Gable Hrkach Ellen is an award-winning, best-selling author of four books. Her third book, Stealing Jenny, a pro-life suspense novel, spent six weeks at #1 on Amazon Kindle in Religious Drama in June/July of 2012. All three of her novels have been in the top ten of that category since January of 2012. She is a columnist for Amazing, a columnist at, and a reviewer for She and her husband create the “Family Life” cartoons and own …