Showing posts from July, 2015

Seven Quick Takes: A Week's Worth of Fun

My version of vacation is spending a week running around in dress clothes, working as the Volunteer Coordinator/Chief of Minions at the Catholic Writers' Conference.  This year involved a thirteen-hour drive to Somerset, New Jersey, where I and my three Minion friends settled in for a long but delightful week.  We experienced everything from crazy traffic (seriously, NJ, learn how to merge!) to discovering new friends, to picking up a stack of autographed books.
I owe a huge thank-you to the girls for all the help they gave both me and the Guild.  All three worked so very hard that I am in awe.  They kept me sane, filled in for missing volunteers, ran errands, kept long hours on late meals, and still managed to have fun. 
This is a week late-ish, but here's a round of quick takes on the Catholic Writers' Conference, in no particular order.
1. My favorite part of the CMN Trade Show every year is the reception and book signing they hold on Wednesday night.  Who doesn't…

Small Success Thursday: Growing Up

I finally have a job!  It's been a rough summer, but my work has paid off, and I start August 17th.  More about the job tomorrow - today is about the process of getting there!
Yesterday, I bought a car.  Well, if you must know, I started paperwork to buy a car.  Grr.  It's such an annoying multi-step process!  I have many phone calls ahead of me between the loan people and the car people and the insurance people.  However, I will soon be the proud owner of Martha, a black '07 Volkswagen Passat (station wagon) with epic trunk space, black leather seats, front heated seats, and *drumroll* a sunroof.  Which makes me absurdly happy.  Martha has great mileage for her age, and looks almost brand-new, for a good price, so please just give me the keys?  
Yes, I'm a Catholic nerd, and yes, I named my car Martha because I got it her on the feast of St. Martha.  Doesn't she look like a hard-working car to you?  She may get a stuffed hippo George to go with her.

Because of my…

An Encounter at the Well

It's rare to find a book that makes me cry.  The last page of Stephanie Landsem's The Well succeeded.

I picked up the book at the Catholic Writers' Conference last week, and decided on a whim to read it in the car as we left New Jersey.  I finished it before we arrived back in Indianapolis!

The Well is Biblical historical fiction, focusing on the stories and challenges of a few who come to believe in Christ.  How often do you think about the fact that every single person in the story of our salvation has his or her own story, and lived her own life?

Landsem's novel is a window into the life of the Samaritan woman at the well, from the fourth chapter of John's Gospel, through the eyes of Nava's daughter, Mara.  Mara tries throughout the book to save her mother, who is gripped by sin and despair.  Mara captivates the young, well-educated Shem, whose fiery hatred of injustice must be directed away from his guilt and desire for revenge.  Their love story, slow to …

Hello World! (again)

Hello people!  If you've looked for my blog in the past week, my apologies for the 404 issue!  The page was locked down by Blogger as spam the day I left for the Catholic Writers' Conference.  Thankfully, when I finally had time to deal with the situation, Blogger reinstated the blog.  So here we are, back to blogging, and I'll have new posts coming very soon!

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Shelf Spotlight: Terry Pratchett

Do you ever go to the library with an empty bag and fill it to the brim?  If you're anything like me, sinking yourself in a stack of favorite authors is how life becomes manageable!  Books are an addiction, and don't ever, ever take me to Readers Anonymous.

So, welcome to my new blog series!  I'll share an author or book at the end of the week, as often as I can.  This won't be a full book review, but just a quick highlight on who/what I'm reading at the moment.

Recently, I've gotten my mom hooked on Terry Pratchett, a British comic fantasy author I fell in love with after reading Going Postal.  His books take place in a universe named Discworld, and follow a number of different characters in intersecting mini-series.  Pratchett is absolutely brilliant with his words, almost like a fantasy P. G. Wodehouse.  Some of his books are better than others, and occasionally his humour gets a bit crude, but overall he's a hysterically funny read.  His…

Joy + Sadness = Peace

"That's the subconscious - it's where they keep all the troublemakers."
I got turned inside out yesterday.
Pixar Studios has a stellar track record - from Finding Nemo to The Incredibles, Up, and Monsters University, a few of my favorites.  Their movies are generally great stories, cleverly written, with good music, and most importantly, strong morals.  Right is right and wrong is wrong, the characters develop and mature, and family structure is always an important factor.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this year's new Pixar, Inside Out.  The story follows one little girl, eleven-year-old Riley, as her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco, and the five major emotions inside her head - Fear, Disgust, Anger, Joy, and Sadness.  At first, the concept seems a bit cheesy.  In reality, it's a complex and beautiful story conveyed through Pixar's usual stellar storytelling.
Riley's parents are a bit flat, but they're genuinely loving and hav…

Monday's PhotoQuote


Summer Weddings




Dear Lord, where's the window?

Some days you're the cheerleader, other days you're the pompom.
As a recent grad, a primary focus of my life right now is job hunting.  I've lost track of the resumes I've sent out and the interviews I've dressed up for.  I've applied for everything from administrative work, database management, marketing, communications, and heck, grocery store associate.  My dream job is working in Catholic publishing, so I can work my way up to editor.
So far, God has been closing a lot of doors.  There's no window yet.  It seems like every time a hiring manager appears to be interested in me, they end up offering it to someone else.  Well, except for the grocery store, but for a grad with a BA, that's small consolation.
The Crusaders' war cry was Deus lo vult: God wills it.
Into your hands I commend my spirit.
Unfortunately, because so much of my life revolves around finding a job, this relentless discouragement is seeping in to other areas of my life.  It's …