For the #1 spot in each week’s Quick Takes, I usually think back and pick out an interesting / funny / bizarre story that occurred within the past seven days. As I sit down to review this particular week, I realize just how nonexistent my life has been. One hundred percent of my energy has been divided between the following three things:
- Feverishly working on the book.
- Thinking about how infuriated I am going to be if I don’t hit this deadline and thus have to wait eight months until my schedule clears up so I can get back to it. (Notice I am beyond the point of even pretending that I might be able to prayerfully turn the timeline over to God. My “patiently accepting endless delays” capabilities ran out sometime between the second time I scrapped a completed draft and the 12 months I had to wait to work on it again.)
- Hanging out with the kids, unsuccessfully pitching a new pretend game called Tortured Artist, where one of us (mommy) sits and types furiously while everyone else stands around and makes comments like “That’s genius!” and “What a brilliant paragraph.”
Have I mentioned that I’m speaking at the Living the Faith conference in Denver? I can’t wait. You can read Julie Filby’s article about it here. I see that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will be giving one of the keynotes. I guess that means that, since I am also a speaker, we’ll pretty much be hanging out the whole time. Justice Scalia (who will probably insist that I call him “Tony”) might have some questions about my blog, and will want to get my take on some of the cases he’s hearing right now. Another keynote speaker, Vatican astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno, will be excited to hear that my husband is coming. My husband established himself as a luminary in the worlds of both philosophy and astronomy after calling out every celestial body in the cosmos and issuing a standing challenge for any of them to go up against him on Jeopardy (as of yet unanswered, I note), so I’m sure that Brother Consolmagno will be anxious to meet him.
As I flail around with my own book project, the good news is that there are other bloggers out who have fancy things like completed books, and I can live vicariously through them. Steady Mom has a new eBook out that promises to be great, and The Bloggess’ first memoir is coming out in April. Prediction: The Bloggess’ book will be in the top 10 of the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list within one week of its release. She has what publishers refer to as a “FREAKING HUGE PLATFORM,” meaning that she has tens of thousands of loyal readers who lie awake at night waiting to buy her book, so it’ll be very interesting to see how it does. (As a writing nerd who is also a web stats nerd who used to work in marketing, these sorts of things are fascinating to me.)
You may notice that I didn’t link to The Bloggess’ blog in that last take. I know. Bad etiquette. But I simply don’t have the vocabulary to craft a content warning that would be strong enough to give readers unfamiliar with her writing a proper idea of what they might find there. Ten f-bombs, to be sure. But also discussion of insane taxidermy experiments. Pictures of insane taxidermy experiments. Sexual references that would make Hugh Hefner blush. And that’s just in the first paragraph.
I was going to go ahead and link to it with an all caps warning that clicking through will fling you far, far outside of the Inspirational Christian Mommy blog world, but then I had the realization (that chills me every time I think about it) that some of my dear friends who are Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist occasionally check in on my blog. I had this vision of Sister Elizabeth Ann accidentally clicking on the link, unsure what just happened, and at that moment some of her sisters walk in behind her. Sister Maria Rosario faints, Sister Thomas Aquinas is crossing herself and saying Hail Mary’s. Someone is on the phone to Mother Assumpta. And Sister Elizabeth Ann is frantically closing browsers, crying, “JENNIFER FULWILER MADE ME DO IT!”
Now I feel the need to post something worthy of having deeply devout people read this blog. I have the perfect thing! Check out this super cute four-minute talk by Kimberly Hahn. It’s a really unique presentation that has stuck with me ever since I watched it.
The turning point came when one day I realized, I was a number-one bestselling author, I was rich and famous and I’d done all these things in my writing career that I couldn’t even dream of accomplishing when I’d started. All the things I thought I needed to do to make myself happy, I had done…I thought that would be more than enough to make me happy, and it wasn’t.
Want to hear something eerie? When I found this article I had just finished mentioning him in my memoir, which explores those exact themes. My husband and I used to get together with some friends occasionally to go bar hopping in a yellow school bus while dressed as clowns, and I talked about it because something significant to the main plot happened on one of those nights. Tucker happened to be with us, so I mentioned it. Anyway, it was odd to hear someone who was there that night publicly express the same opinion. I was like, What?? Clown Night didn’t bring you deep inner peace either?! So weird!
Good for you, Tucker, for searching for something more. I pray that your journey may also take you from the clown bus to God.
As I wrap up this edition of Quick Takes to get back to work on the book, I leave you with this fabulous quote that nancyo recently left in a comment:
“A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
– Thomas Mann
This makes me think I might be a real Writer after all.