Day 2 of the Tin Cup Rattle

This is one of the moments where I ask for some small help with my efforts to provide you with the sort of Catholic content, newsiness, fun, and so forth that is this blog. We Sheas live in narrow financial straits. For those who have joined the blog since last quarter, I am a writer (and sole breadwinner) trying to raise two boys (and occasionally assist two newlywed kids, one of whom is struggling with giant school debt) on a somewhat erratic income of what I can earn from writing and speaking (without dental insurance), plus what I get from donations here. My wife is the chief homeschooler and bottle washer of this here enterprise, as well as a human dynamo in a dozen other tasks.

This month, like all months, is tight–indeed particularly tight–just in time for Christmas (and we live *very* frugally) what with insurance bills, taxes, and the excitement that will soon be Obamacare. So, I’m here to say that I hope you’ll agree the worker is worth his keep. Therefore I’m askin’ ya, if everybody who has gotten something good from this blog will kick in some bucks on the PayPal button on the right rail, it will really help. I’m not shy, be as generous as you can. You’d be supporting what I think is an eminently worthy cause and saving our financial bacon as we struggle through another month. If you like what you get here, then please be as generous as you can and help out with the care and feeding of a unique news, opinion, and information source that you just can’t find anyplace else. Thanks so much for your kindness!

Oh, and remember, you can buy my books, DVDs and CDs! And if you’d don’t trust PayPal (though they are extremely reliable), feel free to email me and ask for my snailmail address. I’ll happily take a check instead.

Also, has it not occurred to you how badly you need me to come and speak for your parish, conference or organization? Oh yes! Badly indeed do you need me!  Just ask the people to whom I will happily refer you for references.  And if you need ecclesial bona fides, I can provide you with a letter from my bishop, who has hired me to be a catchist instructor for the Archdiocese of Seattle.

And, if you are an editor, you need me to write for you. It’s critical. Your mag will just wither away and die without my prose. As for my poetry, I happen to have the distinction of having prompted the only letter of complaint ever sent to First Thingsabout the poetry they publish. Fear me, or I will publish my poetry here!

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  • Robert

    I hope you and your family have a very wonderful Advent and a very Merry Christmas this year. May God continue to bless you in all you do.

  • I’ve been meaning to get “By What Authority?” This post reminds me to add it to my Christmas list.
    Merry Christmas from “all of us” at Two Catholic Men and a Blog!

  • beccolina

    I can send you a present for the Cuteness, thus relieving you of one Christmas present to buy:
    She’s the only one I have left.

  • Kaite Collins

    Yes it is hard when you don’t work, Try and get a job, for it is written all must labor.. Wishing you the best of luck finding one, keep trying and never give up….

    • Sherry Weddell


      As a long time personal minion of Mark’s, I can tell you that Mark has many jobs – that is, he is a full time writer who is routinely hired by more famous Catholics (including members of hierarchy) to turn their thoughts or oral materials into well-crafted prose because they don’t have the skill or time to do so. His blog posts, columns, the books bearing his name, and the speaking gigs are only part of his work load. He routinely works more than full time to get it all done. And, as anyone who has tried to write seriously can tell you, writing is real work – from which the larger Church is benefiting in many ways. As we all know, much valuable work – such as raising, caring for, and teaching children – isn’t well-paid. Writing for Catholics and about Catholic themes is essential to the New Evangelization and Mark has done a lot of good through his public and private writing. If writing is only “legitimate work” if it easily generates the income necessary to support a family, then 99% of all Catholic writing would stop instantly. (I speak as someone who spent the better part of 6 months – including ALL holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s – furiously writing a book which has turned into a best seller (4th printing underway), is getting rave reviews, and from which I have personally netted so far about $350. Presumably this will improve with time but lets just say that I’m not counting on book money to cover Christmas.) Unless you are the new C. S. Lewis, a G. K. Chesterton or a John Allen, its’ tough. Even for a tenacious, fast, highly skilled and intensely hard-working writer like Mark, it’s tough. Prospective Catholic writers, keep dreaming those dreams of thinking great thoughts and crafting great prose over a breakfast of espresso in a Parisian garrett cause reality is sometimes that romantic.

  • First time visitor here! Here’s hoping you get tonnes of gigs, more inspiration for MORE poetry, and your wife is nearly done with the dreaded bottle washing! Will be stopping by more regularly!

  • Heather

    Why are the comments all showing up as being a year old?

  • Jason Hall

    I always celebrate the arrival of Tin Cup Rattle by treating myself to some new books and/or recorded talks. I am running out of stuff to buy. You need to write three or four new books before the next Tin Cup Rattle. Thank you.