Sunday, June 30, 2013

I'm so pleased to announce that The Rose Ring has been awarded the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Odyssey Bookshop - My Favorite Independent Bookshop

My favorite independent bookstore is Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA. I get to browse there on a regular basis due to a standing commitment in the beautiful. Village Commons where it is located. It is always something to look forward to. When I was there a couple weeks ago, I snapped this photo of their sign. I really think it is a work of art! If you ever happen to be in South Hadley, this bookstore is one place worth checking out!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Prominent Catholic Writers to Speak at CWG’s Catholic Writers Conference in New Jersey

Several prominent Catholic writers will speak at the fifth annual Catholic Writers’ Conference LIVE taking place August 7-9, 2013, at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, NJ. Sponsored by the Catholic Writer’s Guild and the Catholic Marketing Network (CMN), and held in conjunction with CMN’s annual retailer trade show, the Catholic Writers Conference LIVE provides Catholic writers with a prime opportunity to meet and share their faith with editors, publishers, fellow writers, and bookstore owners from across the globe. The theme of this year's conference is “The Year of Faith.”

Speakers at this year’s conference include authors Patti Armstrong (STORIES FOR THE HOMESCHOOL HEART), Teresa Tomeo (Ave Maria Radio, WRAPPED UP, EXTREME MAKEOVER), Michelle Buckman (RACHEL’S CONTRITION, MY BEAUTIFUL DISASTER), Randy Hain (THE INTEGRATED CATHOLIC LIFE), Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle (EWTN, CATHOLIC PRAYER BOOK FOR MOTHERS), Ellen Gable Hrkach (STEALING JENNY), Regina Doman (RAPUNZEL LET DOWN), author, blogger and podcaster Pat Gohn (BLESSED, BEAUTIFUL, AND BODACIOUS) and many others.

The conference will give authors an opportunity to meet personally with publishing professionals and pitch their writing projects. Some participating publishers are Ignatius Press, Full Quiver Publishing, Ave Maria Press, Christus Publishing, Tuscany Press and Servant Books.  In addition, attendees have the opportunity to sign up for critique workshop with award-wining short fiction writer Arthur Powers, and attend a writing workshop with award-winning novelist Michelle Buckman. Information for these events can be found on the conference web site.

Maurice Prater of Missionaries of the Holy Family attended in 2012, and he says he did not know what to expect at first. “But, what I gained from attending the Catholic Writers Conference, in terms of personal contacts and what I learned, has proven to be one of the best decisions I have ever made." Author Ann Frailey, concurs. “I met writers, publishers, artists and a whole host of other people whose mission it is to transmit the message of truth and hope to the world in a living, vibrant manner.  It was an exciting adventure!”

The Catholic Writers Guild, a religious non-profit organization affiliated with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, sponsors this conference in August, an online conference in March, and a writers' retreat in October to further its mission of promoting Catholic literature. "With members all over North America, these events bring our diverse membership together for fellowship and networking to promote our mission of creating a rebirth of Catholic arts and letters," says CWG President and award-winning novelist Ellen Gable Hrkach.

Registration costs $80 for CWG members, $85 for non-members and $45 for students. There's also a discounted combined membership. To register or for more information, go to

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What You are Really Doing When You Buy a Book

A friend of mine posted this image on Facebook today. It's about buying a piece of art, but the same holds true for buying a book as well. Thank you to those who allow me to keep creating.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Private Tours of Edith Wharton's Library

I had the pleasure of visiting The Mount several (many!) years ago. At the time, it had fallen into disrepair and was undergoing extensive renovations, but you could definitely see the beauty. I'm sure that now it is truly breathtaking. I saw this advertised online today and must say that this has been added to my dream to-do list. A Private Library Tour at the Mount

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Catholic Imagination and You

Gene Logan has this to say about The Catholic Imagination:

Such an imagination is one that stems from faith – from a belief so powerful that it demands expression. It is something that needs to be shared in prose or poetry or any art form that bears witness to Our Lord’s presence in this world.

In prose writing, God’s interaction in human nature is often couched by the writer in a story that imitates life in a moving and plausible way. It is identifiable and relates to the readers as something familiar and reassuring about their faith and the nearness of God in their lives.

The leap of faith that sparks the Catholic imagination is instilled in artist. It inspires the desire to imitate that way of life embedded in God’s love and trust. It is a faith that is freely embraced and yearns to be given voice by the writer in words or more generally by the artist in some other form.

Please read the full post at The Catholic Imagination and You

Sunday, June 9, 2013

When Writing Loses Its Joy

Billy Coffey has an interesting guest post on Rachelle Gardner's blog: The One Thing Every Writer Needs

He writes:
Writing no longer brought me joy.

To admit that feels like a confession. Even a week later, I find I cannot not write those six words straight through. My pen stopped between “longer” and “brought.” My hand went to my forehead, as though I was trying to hide myself. Writing has become a pillar of my life over the years, just as much as family and faith. To have one of those pillars shake and buckle was not an easy thing to endure. Writing is what I do. In many ways, it’s who I am. To find the delight and purpose gone from it brought a sense of hollowness. . . 

There are few callings higher than that of a writer. We inspire through story. We remind others of truths that have defined humanity since the beginning. We provide a necessary break from the monotony of the everyday. We create worlds. The words we string together serve an invaluable function: They become a mirror the reader holds to himself. They show us not how we are so different from one another, but how we are so much the same.

Perhaps it is because that calling is so high that it is also so fraught with peril. Writing is not for the weak or timid. It requires courage to face the page every day. To send out queries that may not even be answered, to pour yourself into a story that may or may not be read, and to lay yourself bare to a world that may only reject you.

The full post is definitely worth reading. It is hard to keep pursuing any creative venture when the world rejects or ignores your years of effort. Why bother to keep at it? It is a question every artist must face on a regular basis, unless of course you are one of the blessed who has achieved worldly success. Perhaps even then one still asks the existential question of "Does what I do matter?" If the answer is "yes," than the only choice is to keep at it, whether the world ever notices or not.