Social Media for Self-Promotion: What’s Acceptable and What’s Just Plain Obnoxious?

Over at Catholic Writers Guild this month, I'm talking about social media for writers.  I start with some comments on why marketing matters, and why it can be a struggle for Catholic authors: For about 5% of authors, marketing is a delight: A chance to get out of the writer’s box, meet people, chat, share the exciting news.  For the rest of us, it’s a chore.  I’d rather be writing.  I’d rather be holed up in my hermitage minding my own business.  I don’t want to bother people.Many of us Cath … [Read more...]

Why Being a Writer Isn’t as Obvious as All That

Karen Kelly Boyce has a good piece up at the Catholic Writers Guild on cementing your identity as a writer. Her two instructions are: 1. Tell people you are a writer. 2. Treat your writing seriously.  Make an office, use it. For those of us transitioning from "I'd like to be a writer one day" to "I am a writer" there's a vicious cycle of self-doubt: We don't take ourselves seriously, so others don't take us seriously, so we don't take ourselves seriously . . ..Karen's instructions are j … [Read more...]

The Go-to Guide for New and Struggling Catechists Now Out in Kindle

Something fun: I was putting together my author bio for the 2015 Gospel Reflections e-book, and discovered my catechist book is now out in Kindle.  Woohoo! Pretty cool, huh?  That makes me high-tech and stuff, right?If you know a religious education teacher who's floundering big time, this book is your answer.  It's short, readable, and gives you step-by-step methods that anyone can use to put together a passable Sunday school class.Yes! Even at your cra … [Read more...]

Head’s Up, Combox Closing

FYI - the disappearance of the combox is not a technical glitch.I have the best readers around, and the comments on this blog have been overwhelmingly charitable, insightful, and helpful.  (Particularly from those who disagree with me, but from the like-minded souls as well.)It's been a pleasure over the past six months to host such civilized discourse; it is work, but work that I enjoy.However reluctantly, though, I have to do the grown-up thing and say no to one good that I might … [Read more...]

Something Good: Christian Soul Music with Actual Poetry in It

Just finished listening to the rough mix of Sam Rocha's freshly released album, Late to Love.  In my effortless knack for sticking with the "late" theme, I finally got around to listening to my review-files oh, you know, long after they'd arrived and a few days after the album came out.  Nothing against the feast of St. Augustine, I promise.What you should know:Do you listen to soul music? I'm not up on the genre.  Lately, in the unlikely event that I get silence, the last thing I want t … [Read more...]

At CWG: Why You Should Experiment Outside Your Usual Genre

 Over at the Catholic Writers Guild, I tell the story of my little foray into fiction (here) last week, and argue that everyone ought to be so brave.  Not because you'll necessarily be any good at the stuff you don't do, but because it will be good for you.Also, PSA: If you are a member of the CWG, we accept guest posts.  Perfect place for that orphaned essay, poem or bit of flash-fiction you couldn't possibly submit anywhere else.  … [Read more...]

Gospel Fan Fiction: When You Give What is Holy to Dogs

The Gospels are written with only the sparest of details.  When we use our imaginations to assign tone, gesture, and intention to the actions of Our Lord, we risk learning more about ourselves than about Him.  In that perilous tradition, here I go.  My words in plain text, this past Sunday's Gospel reading in bold.  *** Even living in a small town, there reaches a point when you cease to care what people think.  It wasn't the embarrassing public episodes that had driven her to this point.  It w … [Read more...]