Among The Catholic Writers and Marketers

Yesterday I took a day and traveled into the wilds of central Jersey to attend the Catholic Writers Conference and Catholic Marketing Network. I was invited by the wonderful Margaret Rose Realy … well, actually, my daughter’s cupcakes were invited, and I had to tag along to set them up.

Margaret had seen my girl’s award-winning creations and decided Catholics would set upon them like locusts. She couldn’t do her usual fancy cupcakes in such large quantities, but created this cupcake Rosary, which was a big hit.

I didn’t mention that the chocolate ones were Devil’s Food…

I also got to meet Margaret at last:

She’s Realy nice. (Yeah, I went there. Sue me.)

I’d never done one of these things before, so it was nice to leave my books and chickens and games behind and meet My People in their native habitat:

That is: surrounded by tons of free books, food, and liquor. Go Team Catholic!

I also got to met the Holy Father (Flat Stanley Edition) and … The Anchoress! Yes, the Big Cheese of Patheos Catholic and the best pure writer in the Catholic blogosphere was there. I have photographic proof.

Flat Francis?

I even met the Ignatius Press Chihuahua.

She looks nervous, as though she just learned the truth about Medjugorje.

I came home with a stack of free books, and this makes me happy, except I can’t read any of them until I finish my big December issue and a paper for a course on Ratzinger/Benedict.

Free beer, free food, free books: you have now discovered what it takes to get me to leave my house.

I also saw the CatholiCar display, which makes decals for your car. After my first few seconds of “So It’s Come to This?” sneering, I though “oh, why the heck not.” It’s better than Truck Nuts.

The one on the bottom says, “If the van’s a-rockin’, it’s because we have 5 kids.”

And the main ballroom had this Holy Water font with a seriously bored-looking St. John.

He’s thinking: “Worst. Bachelor Party. EVER.”

I met heaps of great writers and editors, saw tons of Catholic swag, attended a good presentation on Kindle marketing, and had my beer bought by The Anchoress.

Clockwise from left: Lisa Mladinich and her charming daughter, Pat Gohn, Margaret Rose Realy, Hairy Guy Wearing Stupid Tie, Elizabeth Scalia

Sometimes it pays to leave the house.

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About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • victor

    Looks like a really fun time! What’s a “pure writer” though, and isn’t that being a bit presumptuous?

  • Thomas L. McDonald

    Hmmm, it’s not like she’s wearing a purity ring or anything. Some writers are better polemicists (Shea) or reporters (Deacon Greg) or humorists (Zmirak). Elizabeth is just a damn fine writer.

  • Sarah Reinhard

    Ooooo, you make me wish I was therrrrrre…

  • Margaret Rose Realy

    And I did wish so…

  • victor

    Huh. I never thought of it that way, but now I can definitely see your point.

  • SamRocha

    As I’ve said many times, “You’re the sh…”

  • Barb S

    It totally pays to leave the house! Great to meet you–and I had a blog comment from your wife. Small world! That’s an impressive stack of books there (maybe one day I’ll be “press” and amass a collection like that.)
    And, for the record, if Margaret is up for adoption, I’ve got dibs.

  • Barb S


  • Margaret Rose Realy


  • Thomas L. McDonald

    What say you Margaret, you want to be adopted and live in New Jersey with the chickens and bears and coyotes?

  • Thomas L. McDonald

    Great meeting you too! (And only one of those was a press freebie!)

  • Neil Combs

    As a first timer to the CMN I was blown away by all the “stuff” there’s, but also by the graciousness of all those who welcomed me and shared stories (and books) with me. It was great meeting everyone from CWG.

  • William M. Briggs

    Dude. Twelve-point bonus for having it, but that tie, that tie…

  • Thomas L. McDonald

    Oh, there are many more where that came from. This was one of the more subdued…