Finding Joy in Your Off Season

So, I will be the first to admit that summer is actually my least favorite season, and as we now stretch into August I am almost desperate for cooler weather, turning leaves, and my fall wardrobe. My northern blood does not thrive in southern heat. I feel also like there is less structure to my schedule in the summer, and there is more pressure to socialize and make plans and yet it seems nearly impossible to coordinate as everyone is…

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Library Love

A confession: for most of my life I’ve never really been one for libraries. I love books, and I’ve always loved the idea of libraries, but I’m also a very possessive person and I’ve never liked the idea of having to give things back. I often chafe under the idea of having to read a book or watch a movie within a certain time limit, with a due-date looming over me. For the last 20 years or so, I also…

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Escape into What is Worthy

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte. We live in a culture today that is over-saturated with all forms of media. Technology has provided an abundance of physical devices, such as smart phones, tablets and computers, not to mention the variety of video game systems and televisions. These devices give us near-constant access to social media, news outlets, games, movies and online videos. Reading devices and apps can give you an endless supply of…

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To Finish, or Not to Finish a Book?

It’s very rare that I don’t finish reading a book once I have gotten into it. This is partly because I am rather selective on what books I start in the first place; my list of books to read is always rather substantial and I don’t have time to mess around. Now there have definitely been times when I have started reading a book on my list that is considered a “Classic” and, while giving it my best shot, I…

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Chesterton’s Fence

It seems to me that we are living in incredibly reactive times. Information comes at us increasingly fast, events happen quickly and are almost instantly communicated around the world, and we rarely have time to slow down and reflect on any new developments and their impacts. Emotions run high, fear is everywhere around us, and we are seeking a sense of stability and order. We are willing to jump on board with anything that seems like it might bring some…

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Common Men and Women

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte I love to read about the lives of different saints and to see the great variety of people that God has loved and called to serve Him – from the battle-tested St. Joan of Arc to the “Little Way” of St. Therese of Lisieux to the humble yet famous St. Teresa of Calcutta, and from the vibrant St. Francis of Assisi to the studious St. Thomas Aquinas…

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Bird by Bird – Tips for Life

One of my favorite books on writing is Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. This was one of the first books about writing that I ever read, probably in my early teens, and it was only when I re-read it in the last year or so that I realized how much the advice in this book has shaped not only my writing but also how I approach life. Lamott is not just a writer but also teaches writing professionally, and much…

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A Food Lover’s Thoughts on Fasting and Feasting

This article was originally published in The Catholic News Herald of the diocese of Charlotte The Lord truly invited us to enter fully into the desert this Lent. And perhaps it has been a consoling blessing that this crisis happened when it did, right as we entered into this penitential season. Hopefully it has been an opportunity to deepen our prayer lives, reflecting more fully on the Lenten fasts we had already chosen to adopt. In modern rhetoric, fasting can refer to…

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Isolation Update: Art During Crisis

The last few weeks I have been making some serious headway on my novel-in-progress, and it’s felt pretty good. But in those last few weeks I have also had a few emotional mini-crises while reading the news and thinking about the state of the world and what the future might look like, and I have had to stop and ask myself, “What’s the point? Should I really be spending my time working on a silly novel right now? Should I…

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Reset

It’s hard to know what to write about right now. Everything feels uncertain and we are all struggling to find new routines, a new normal for our lives. I’ve been managing to avoid the majority of the main stream news and the hysteria contained therein, but I’ve stayed informed enough to know that these are serious times that we are living in and life will most likely look very different even once we are past the worst. For me, the…

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