Camp NaNoWriMo begins again July 1st

Off to explore the brambly pathways of my mindCamp NaNoWriMo, the July session, begins at midnight. I’m not going to try to update the blog every night after writing. (I haven’t been updating it weekly, even monthly, have I? Oops.) I will update the progress meter nightly.

And I will update the blog, too, uh huh, will too. Eventually. I have some posts in the works: some are reviews of books I’ve been reading, some for apps, and some about things I’ve discovered while doing research for other writing or just exploring my Verbum software. Oh, didn’t I mention that? No, I suppose I didn’t since I haven’t blogged much. Well, I will. That will be an ongoing source of posts as there are so many books and things to discover in Verbum I shall never discover them all. Joy! :)

Now I’m off to feed the dogs and feed myself and watch the Journey Home on EWTN and think some more about the story I’ll be writing for Camp. Thanks for reading and peace be with you! :)

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Happy Father’s Day to all Fathers, Biological and Spiritual

Understanding the Our FatherIn honor of fathers everywhere I’d like to offer something beautiful and profound to you. So I’m going to post something from Scott Hahn’s book, Understanding the Our Father. [1] It’s more beautiful and profound than anything I can write and I really want to share it with you. Happy Father’s Day! May your day be richly blessed, and the rest of your days also! :)

The “Our” of Power

This is why Tradition tells us we must go beyond our earthly experiences and memories of fatherhood when we pray, “Our Father.” For though He is a provider, begetter, and protector, God is more unlike than like any human father, patriarch, or paternal figure. The Catechism puts it this way: “God our Father transcends the categories of the created world. To impose our own ideas in this area ‘upon him’ would be to fabricate idols to adore or pull down. To pray to the Father is to enter into his mystery as he is and as the Son has revealed him to us” (no. 2779).

How has Jesus, God the Son, revealed the Father to us? As “[o]ur Father who art in heaven” (Mt. 6:9). By adding that prepositional phrase “in heaven,” Jesus emphasizes the difference in God’s fatherhood. The Father to Whom we pray is not an earthly father. He is “above” us; He is the One we profess in the creed as “Father Almighty”—that is, all powerful. Though we are weak, limited, and prone to mistakes, nothing is impossible for God (cf. Lk. 1:37).

God’s power, then, sets His fatherhood apart from any fatherhood we have known or imagined. His “fatherhood and power shed light on one another” (Catechism, no. 270). Unlike earthly fathers, He always has the best intentions for His children, and He always has the ability to carry them out. Jesus wanted us to know this, so that we could always approach our heavenly Father with childlike trust and confidence: “[W]hatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith” (Mt. 21:22).

The Catechism teaches that “God reveals his fatherly omnipotence by the way he takes care of our needs” (no. 270). We know God as Father because, over a lifetime of prayer, we experience His care for us. We come to see for ourselves that He is mighty, and that He will deny us nothing that is good for us. [2]

From Heir to Paternity

Earthly fatherhood sometimes reflects these characteristics, as do those offices that assume fatherly roles in society: the priesthood, for example, and the government. Yet earthly fathers can perfect their fatherhood only by purifying themselves of earthly motives—such as greed, envy, pride, and the desire to control. They can become true fathers only by conforming themselves to the image of their heavenly Father, and that Image is His firstborn Son, Jesus Christ.

In governing, in parenting, or in priesthood, we come to exercise a more perfect fatherly role as we “grow up” in the Family of God: “[W]e are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:16–17). This process is a divine corrective to the world’s distorted notions of patriarchy and hierarchy.

An ancient Christian writer, Dionysius the Areopagite, described hierarchy as something that originates in heaven, where divine light passes through the angels and the saints as if all were transparent.2 God’s gifts, then, are passed from one person to the next, undiluted. Those who are closest to God—and so higher in the hierarchy—serve those who are lower. At each stage, they give as God gives, keeping nothing to themselves.

Notice, here, how spiritual goods differ from material goods. If I have sole ownership of something—say, a sport coat or a tie—someone else can’t own it and use it at the same time. The higher goods, however, are spiritual; and spiritual goods—such as faith, hope, love, liturgy, the merits of the saints—can be shared and owned completely by all. That’s how the hierarchy works with the angels and saints in heaven.

For this sharing to take place “on earth as it is in heaven” requires the perfection of earthly fatherhood, which can take place only if we earnestly pray, “Our Father who art in heaven.” God is the primordial Father, “of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named” (Eph. 3:15, Douay Rheims Version). He is the eternal model by which all human fathers must be measured. [3]

A Father Who Keeps His PromisesNotes

[1] Get a copy of Understanding the Our Father at Amazon (Kindle or print) or for Verbum. Also excellent is Hahn’s A Father Who Keeps His Promises. Get it at Amazon (Kindle or print) or for Verbum. (I’ll add the Verbum links later, their site is down right now. Oy.)
[2] Hahn, S. (2002). Understanding “Our Father”: Biblical Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer, pp. 14–15. Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Road Publishing.
[3] Ibid., pp. 15–16.

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Got the novel word count validated, WIN!

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2014 Winner!Got the Camp NaNoWriMo novel word count validated just a few minutes ago: 52,065 for a win! Yes! Now the next phase of novel-writing work begins. (Hey, how many phases is this thing going through, anyway, huh? Sheesh!)

Progress Meter

See Other Writing for badges and meters from past NaNoWriMo events.

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Nightly Update, Camp NaNoWriMo Day 21, WOOHOO!

Sleepy eyes, I has themWOOHOO! Did it! Finis! The End! Caput! Well, not exactly. Validation at Camp NaNoWriMo doesn’t begin until Friday, April 25, but that’s not gonna stop me from whoopin’ and hollerin’ around here for all of another two or three minutes tonight–until I pass out from exhaustion, that is. Tired, sleepy eyes, I has them.

That’s it for tonight, I really am going to turn off the computer and crawl into bed with the dogs and get some much needed rest. Of course, if I happen to dream a scene or two, I’ll have my phone and iPad by the bed, so I can capture any bits of brilliantness that might otherwise disappear into the night.

Thanks for reading and I hope your Easter season continues to be blessed and filled with graces. Peace be with you! :)

Word count goal for the month: 50K. Nightly: 1,667. Tonight: A little over 2K. Total: 50K.

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Nightly Update, Camp NaNoWriMo Day 20

Locked! Oh no!Okay, so I went to the evening Mass at my parish and I got there early so I could prepare, you know, evening prayer, rosary, look over the readings of the day, but I noticed that there were no other cars around and I thought, Ruh roh, I’ll bet they only had Mass this morning, I’ll check and see if the door is locked, and it was. (Deep breath.) So I got back in the car and looked at the clock and got out my phone (remembered to take it this time and it’s a good thing!) and checked the website of the next closest parish (which is NOT close, lemme tell ya, well, actually, the next closest had started their Mass at 5pm so that didn’t help, so I had to go to the next next closest parish), and there was an evening service at that one, it’s big because it’s closer to the city, but that means it’s far away from where I live and far away from my parish. So I lead-footed it, er, I mean, I casually non-chalantly and oh-so-very-slowly–alright, alright, I lead-footed it all the way to that 6pm Mass. And got there with a few minutes to spare and found a parking place near the front door.

I almost passed out in the parking lot from the shock.

After Camp NaNoWriMo is over, I promise I’ll get back to writing something for the blog, I will, no, I mean it, something about one of the gazillion books I’ve been reading. About some of the issues facing us as Catholics. Something!

Thank you for visiting and I hope you had a happy Easter and that your Easter season will be blessed and grace-filled. Peace be with you! :)

Word count goal for the month: 50K. Nightly: 1,667. Tonight: Under 2K. Total: A little less than 48K. Woohoo!

Look at this photo gallery from the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. No wonder they call that place “the Rome of the West”!

EWTN Bookmark, 4-20-2014, “John Paul II, Man of Prayer: The Spiritual Life of a Saint”, Doug Keck interviews Joanna Bogle, British journalist, blogger, author, TV presenter.

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Happy Easter! Nightly Update, Camp NaNoWriMo Day 19

He is Risen! Happy Easter, y’all! May your Easter season be blessed!

Word count goal for the month: 50K. Nightly: 1,667. Tonight: Under 2K. Total: 46,247. Woohoo!

Hallelujah, He is Risen!

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Nightly Update, Camp NaNoWriMo Day 18

Tonight just stats and a video. I hope your Holy Week has been a blessed one. Thank you for reading. God bless you!

Word count goal for the month: 50K. Nightly: 1,667. Tonight: Under 2K. Total: 44,650. Woohoo!

Dr. Scott Hahn, The Fourth Cup

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Nightly Update, Camp NaNoWriMo Day 17

Today I discovered some interesting textures in the story, some parallels between sets of characters, some echoes of events and experiences that are not identical but similar. I can use those to bring out different aspects, different facets of experience and meaning. It’s something I hadn’t thought of or realized before. It’s something I’d read about in a writing book a long time ago but didn’t really get. Until today when I saw it in this story. Love when that happens. :)

Thanks for dropping in, do drop in again, and may you have a blessed Good Friday.

Venerable Fulton J. Sheen – Good Friday video.

Word count goal for the month: 50K. Nightly: 1,667. Tonight: Over 2K. Total: 43,003. Woohoo!

(Technically I wrote another three hundred or so words after midnight so those should count for tomorrow, er, Friday instead of tonight, er last night, Thursday. Argh! Brain. Hurts. Must. Sleep. Soon. But not until I finish getting another idea down and back up the project on Dropbox. And the Time Capsule. I know some people back up every few weeks or every few days. But I back up my work several times a day and the Time Capsule has its own schedule that I don’t even have to think about.)

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Nightly Update, Camp NaNoWriMo Day 16

I was going to spend the day with pad and pen, or iPad and stylus. Did that happen? No, it didn’t happen. I spent the day reading and watching videos instead. Not just any old reading and not just watching any videos either. It was all novel-related. Well, most of it was. Okay, some of it was. But I also spent some time working on my beat sheet and I think that is really going to pay off. :)

Bishop Sheen is a man after my own heart, he really tells it like it is!

Thank you for reading and God bless you! :)

Word count goal for the month: 50K. Nightly: 1,667. Tonight: Under 2K. Total: 40,333. Woohoo!

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Nightly Update, Camp NaNoWriMo Day 15

Too Much!Overload. That’s what happened to my brain today. Overload. Too much information. Short circuit. Too much research. This was supposed to help my imagination, not swamp it! Ack! I think I’ll spend tomorrow with a pad and pen–or an iPad and stylus, though I don’t like any of the styli I have–and doodle some ideas (Hi, Marty, I thought of you when I wrote that). I may even get out the note cards–the index card app. Or just use the index card portion of Scrivener. Ack again! The whole point is to make it simpler! Well, that actually is an argument for using the index cards within Scrivener. That way whatever I come up with will already be there in the project, ready for the next step.

And my next step right now is to close this laptop and go to bed.  Thank you for dropping in. May your Holy Week be blessed as you prepare for the Easter season! Peace be to you! :)

Bishop Fulton J Sheen’s last Good Friday talk before he went to be with the Lord.

Word count goal for the month: 50K. Nightly: 1,667. Tonight: Under 2K. Total: Over 38K. Woohoo!

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