Whirlybirds and Ordinary Times: Reflections on Faith and the Changing of the Seasons

If there’s one book that you must read this fall – especially during the holidays – it’s a brand new book out by my friend Katie Savage called Whirlybirds and Ordinary Times: Reflections on Faith and the Changing of the Seasons.

Whirlybirds, Katie’s first book, just released this week on Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) and it’s honest and raw and hilarious. Using the framework of the liturgical calendar Katie walks the reader through these rich stories about life and faith, pain and brokenness, and especially hope and beauty. She gives us these little snapshots into her life and her mind with rare honestly and an eye toward the divine. The best part is that Katie’s got some serious game as a writer. Open the book up to any page and start reading and you’ll see what I mean. Here’s the blurb I wrote for the book:

“Katie Savage is smart, funny, and a little bit sassy. She writes with a feminine voice… vibrant, earthy, and honest enough to appeal to both genders. When I read her work I find myself hoping that if I don’t take myself too seriously, maybe even I can see God.”

Katie and her husband Scott are both good friends and a part of our congregation at Redemption Church in Olathe where Scott is an associate pastor. Here’s a link to her author page on Facebook – I’m sure “likes” are appreciated. I’m so excited for the world to begin to get to know Katie and her work, so I thought I’d give you a quick introduction to her personality. This comes from Katie’s author page at Simon & Schuster. Go buy her book! Congratulations Katie!

Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. Crazy and full–usually covered in spit-up.

Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”- Jesus

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Having a baby fall asleep on you. And perhaps I’d be rocking said baby to sleep on a porch overlooking a white sand beach. And Bono would be there. You know, singing hymns to help the baby sleep. And someone highly qualified might be massaging my feet. And then another person would bring out a platter of delicious cheeses so that I could keep my strength up.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. Becoming lactose intolerant.

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. See question regarding “Perfect Happiness.”

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. You’ve never heard of her.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. My husband.

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. “Perhaps,” “seems like” and “I think.” I am a commit-a-phobe.

Q. What do you regret most?
A. Not inventing and patenting the Snuggie when I had the chance.

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. I would love to be a good runner. Magically–not through practice.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. Miles and Genevieve. I don’t know that I “achieved” them, but labor made it feel like that, so I’m going with it.

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. Slothfulness.

Q. What’s your best quality?
A. I hope it’s compassion.

Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. I can’t imagine being anything or anyone but me.

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. I hope it’s compassion, but I have a feeling that it’s my proclivity for using the filler word “umm.”

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. Alyosha Karamazov.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. Arvin Sloane from Alias.

Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. It would be Jesus. And I hope I wouldn’t be talking but listening.

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. When people take themselves too seriously. Or when you need something from your purse and you can’t find it, even though you specifically carry small purses in order to avoid this.

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Bubble baths.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. Writing books. Or being an extra on one of JJ Abrams’s shows.

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Honesty. Compassion. The ability to forgive.

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Cheese.

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. Oh, this question only means to embarrass me. Think of the dorkiest songs you know; then imagine me liking them.

Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. Anne Lamott, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Marilynne Robinson, Scott Russell Sanders, E.B. White, Frederick Buechner, Sloan Crosley, Donald Miller, Ralph Ellison, Dean Nelson, Ranier Maria Rilke, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Tina Fey, Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare, J.D. Salinger, Jon Krakauer, John Steinbeck

Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare (does a drama count?)

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

A. There’s no one way to write– do it how it works for you.


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