It’s the first 7 Quick Takes Friday since Something Other than God has been released! Thank you so, so, so much for the tremendous outpouring of excitement and support. It has been ridiculously fun to hear everyone’s thoughts as they read, and it’s fascinating to see which parts resonate with different people. And all sorts of hilarious and wonderful pictures have started to come in now that the book is arriving in the mail! I’m checking the #SOTG hashtag all the time, so keep them coming!
I noticed a bunch of bloggers mentioning the book in their 7 Quick Takes posts, so I wanted to throw in a special giveaway as a thank-you for you all! If you mention my book in your 7 Quick Takes post from last Friday, this Friday, or next Friday (4/25, 5/2, or 5/9), you’ll be entered to win a $30 Amazon gift card and your very own banana suit!
The only requirement is that you mention the book with a link to somewhere where people can buy it. And to make it extra easy, there’s nothing you need to do to enter! I’ll pick a Quick Takes entry at random when we pick the other contest winners, and if that person didn’t mention the book I’ll pick another one at random, and so on.
On the off chance you don’t want the banana suit (“I already have two” being the only possible acceptable reason), you can exchange it for another $20 gift card (which I would hope you would spend on the hot dog suit).
The release date for Something Other than God happened to fall on the feast of St. Catherine of Siena, which was thrilling to me. Back in the summer of 2008, I got the huge news that my literary agent would represent the book if I wrote it. I was excited and extremely motivated to get going, and just as I started making good progress, I found out I was pregnant.
At first I was stressed and frustrated because I thought the pregnancy would derail my big writing plans, but as I thought and prayed and talked to wise spiritual directors about what I was going through, it ended up being a transformative experience in which I got a much needed smack upside the head with the clue-bat about what really matters in life. St. Catherine of Siena played a big role in that pregnancy, and so I’ve always assumed that her prayers were behind a lot of those lessons.
In the days leading up to her feast day and the book’s release, I did a novena (a nine-day series of prayers) in honor of St. Catherine of Siena that asked for her prayers for this project. When the big day rolled around, I eagerly waited to see how the novena would bear fruit.
Many wonderful things happened that day, including great sales and wonderful support from everyone, but perhaps the biggest answered prayer came when I finished the video of the writers reading excerpts from the book.
I thought I was going to die of exhaustion by the time I put the finishing touches on the video on Tuesday night, and I uploaded it to Youtube as fast as I could. I paid no attention to which clip was shown as preview image; I let it default to whatever random spot it chose.
The video is 406 seconds long and includes footage of 33 people. When I saw that the sample image just so happened to be from the mere five seconds that Joe appeared in the video in his banana suit, I felt certain that that was my answered prayer.
But the intercession of the saints doesn’t stop at making sure that people dressed up as oblong pieces of fruit appear in Youtube screenshots! A few of my wonderful, amazing friends and family members sent flowers on Tuesday, and this card that was tucked into one of the arrangements pretty much summed up the whole day:
I am typing this post from my hotel in Birmingham, where I came to begin the media tour with some tapings at EWTN, and to speak at a conference out here.
I’d been all over Twitter telling people to check me out on EWTN Live, but when I got to the studio I found out that the episode isn’t going to air until Thanksgiving. For a moment I wondered if I had the name of the show wrong — I’d been saying it as EWTN Live (rhymes with “jive”), but maybe it’s EWTN Live (rhymes with “shiv”). Evidently it is normally a live show, but they pre-recorded mine since the host, Fr. Mitch, will be out of town that week in November.
I did some other great TV and radio shows as well, and you can hear my interview with Register Radio today (Friday) at 2:00 PM ET on EWTN Radio or SiriusXM Channel 130.
The folks at EWTN were so sweet and generous and it was a pleasure to work with them. The only bad thing about the November air date is that I got my first “deep conditioning” treatment at a salon before I left, and I wanted to have a long and detailed discussion where we all go over the footage and talk about whether we think these treatments make a difference. I’ll see if I can get preview clips so that we don’t have to wait six months to tackle this weighty subject matter.
And this trip. OH MY WORD, this trip. Norse epics look like episodes of Dora in comparison to my voyage to Birmingham this week.
I was going to hit a couple of highlights here in 7 Quick Takes, but Lisa-Jo had the brilliant suggestion that I dedicate an entire post to it…and have Heather from Mama Knows illustrate it!!!! It is as if I was destined to go on this trip from all eternity, just so that Heather could create drawings to represent what I experienced.
You don’t even know how good this is going to be. Just wait.
A big thank-you to everyone who properly appreciated the gif in my contest announcement earlier this week:
For those of you who missed it but now understand from the image above that this is the best thing to happen to you all year, you can find all the details here.
And for those of you who realize that I now know how to Photoshop animated gifs and are fearful for what this means for the internet, you may want to disconnected your online service now.
Speaking of the contests, here’s a tip: the only contest that doesn’t have many entries is the one for buying more than two copies before 5/13, and the prize for that contest is an iPad Mini. If you had it in the back of your mind that you might get gift copies for someone else at some point, you should do it now, since the odds of winning the iPad are currently about 1:20! (Details for how to enter in the post I linked to above.)
Have a wonderful weekend, and thank you again for making this release week everything I dreamed it could be!