7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 80)

May 14, 2010 | 27 comments

1 —

I have new reading suggestion for anyone who’s ever considered writing a book: Chapter After Chapter by Heather Sellers. Whether you’re a seasoned author or just starting out, you’ve got to read this. It’s not a technical how-to book like the other one I was raving about in #1 here, but rather offers advice and encouragement about the process itself.

It’s like if you could sit down and have a cup of coffee with a friend who knows all about writing books, and have her give you just the right mix of tough love, practical suggestions and shouts of “you can do it!” All aspiring authors need this on their bookshelves.

— 2 —

After this week’s post about churches as places of help, a reader sent me this fascinating article from National Geographic about people who have endured harrowing escapes from North Korea. Evidently among the defectors there’s a saying: when you get to the other side, “head for a cross.” (On page 5 of the article.) In the brutal world of North Korean refugees, who are often exploited by drug dealers and underground prostitution rings, Christian churches are havens of safety. The whole article is a must-read.

— 3 —

I had to change one of my passwords last week, and I realized that it was kind of a symbolic moment. It’s one of those passwords that I’d started using years ago, and had had so long that I’d forgotten who or what had originally inspired it. When I changed it last week I remembered that it’s the name of a famous atheist, and I’d originally chosen it because I’d loved his work. Funny how sometimes remnants of old ways of life hang on in the strangest places.

— 4 —

On another conversion-related note, I went to a wedding last week and had a delayed ah-hah! moment. Like most of the weddings I’ve ever attended it was completely secular, and it followed the typical format of people standing when the bride walked down the aisle, some readings, the vows, etc. Something seemed familiar about it, and I realized: this is like the Mass! Everyone stands at the beginning of the service, there are three readings, then a homily, then the vows (at a wedding Mass), then everyone stands at the end. I’d always thought that people just randomly came up with that format, so it was neat to recognize the roots of wedding ceremonies.

— 5 —

An email I sent to my husband last week, about ten minutes after my mother-in-law, Yaya, arrived (“D.” is our five-year-old son):

I can tell this is going to be a good visit. I’m laughing so hard right now I can barely type. Yaya wanted to watch Fox News, so she turned on the TV. It came on to the International Rosary on EWTN (which, admittedly, probably does look a little strange with all the soft-focus shots of people gazing at the sky and chanting something in a foreign language while holding beads) and it’s stuck at a really loud volume. D. really wants to change the channel himself but is overtired and having trouble with the new remote. She’s trying to be patient but just cannot stand for it to be on this boring and weird show. So what I’m hearing from the living room is the droning sound of the Hail Mary in Japanese punctuated by Yaya yelling “WHAT IS THIS SHOW?! TURN THE CHANNEL! PUT IT ON FOX NEWS! FOX NEWS!” over a soundtrack of D. screaming and canned angel music.

— 6 —

I keep thinking about these custom coffee stencils that Cheeseslave was talking about a while back. I don’t even drink coffee these days, but I feel like I need them. For something. Anyway, they’d make a great gift idea for anyone looking for gifts for graduation, teachers, Father’s Day, etc.

— 7 —

For those of you who are doing the Novena to the Holy Spirit, I just realized that someone has put all the prayers on Youtube. Cool idea. I know a lot of people prefer audio-visual stuff to reading, so I thought I’d collect them all in one place. Here are the links: Day 1 (Spirit); Day 2 (Fear of Sin); Day 3 (Piety); Day 4 (Fortitude); Day 5 (Knowledge); Day 6 (Understanding); Day 7 (Counsel); Day 8 (Wisdom); Day 9 (Fruits of the Holy Spirit).

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Below is a Mr. Linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

I look forward to reading your posts!

1. Dawn Farias
2. Defend Us In Battle!
3. Rachel
4. Kristen @ St Monica’s Bridge
5. Erin @ Seven Little Australians Plus One
6. Kim @ Love Letter to my Kids
7. michiel@ Landscapes and Portraits
8. Sarah Reinhard @ SnoringScholar.com
9. DebbieQ @ stop her she’s knitting
10. Katherine @ Having Left The Altar
11. Mary @hope echoes
12. Angela
13. Maia@Flowers Round the Cross
14. Kathleen@so much to say, so little time
15. Michelle aka Catholic lady
16. Tami @ The Next Step
17. Joy@ joy in the morning
18. Deanna@Notlukewarm
19. Shia @ Pursuing Piety, Finding Faith
20. Judy @ A Thankful Woman’s Book of Blessings
21. Nadja@Patch O’ Dirt Farm
22. osarah @ SoJo & Co
23. el-e-e
24. Emily @ Attempting Grace
25. That Married Couple
26. Just a Minute (easy/yummy biscuit recipe included)
27. ChrisV
28. Milehiama @ Mama Says (new blog carnival!)
29. Sherry@Chocolate For Your Brain
30. Kim
31. Bonnie@Newlywed
32. Mrs. Bubbles
33. becomewhatyouare
34. Papua Girl in Dallas
35. Jordana @ Curmudgeonry
36. Cassidy @ The Praying Mom
37. Katie @ Song of a Sunflower
38. Elizabeth Mahlou
39. Sarah @ Passing for Normal
40. Kathryn (Bookworm)
41. Jaime @ Under the Fig Tree
42. Jenny @ Lest I Forget
43. Lisa (Are We There YET?)
44. Zoom Field Trip Advice
45. Barbara C. @Box of Chocolates
46. Katie
47. Karen in Mommyland
48. Sheri @Unexpected Bliss
49. Kim @talklesssaymore
50. byzymom
51. Gae @ Cherished Hearts At Home
52. Mama Fuss
53. Lynsey @ Sassy&Southern
54. Barb @ My Daily Round
55. Jamie @ A Rough Diamond
56. Daniel Cox @ the 832
57. Sarah @ Fumbling Toward Grace
58. Betty Beguiles
59. Gillian – Life of a Photographer
60. Thankful
61. Brandi
62. Sarah @ Simple Pleasures
63. Karen S. @ Imitation of Mary
64. NCSue
65. Jenny @ Conscientious Confusion
66. Transitus Tiber
67. Salome Ellen
68. majellamom
69. Young Mom
70. Transformed Hearts
71. Elena @MyDomestic Church
72. Kim @ Starry Sky Ranch
73. Christian H
74. Christine@Good Company
75. Diane
76. Box Full of Blessings
77. a broader mark
78. Melanie @ The Wine Dark Sea
79. Mindyleigh @ The Devout Life
80. Summer @ Home
81. Jenn-Home is Where
82. Maria D. @Downright Domesticity (Baby Edition!)

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.


  1. Dawn Farias

    Thanks for hosting, Jen. I haven't done a 7QTF in a long time!

    I use a password that is from my college days. It is weird and my husband teases me for it.

    Those custom coffee messages are so neat. Thanks for sharing! Have a nice weekend.

  2. Joe (Defend Us In Battle)

    Just finished my first 7 Quick Takes!

    It was actually fun! Got me to post some stuff I might not otherwise post!

  3. Kim

    Hi Jen! Looking forward to the North Korea article.
    And about weddings–you have been to a Catholic wedding Mass, right? Funny how 2000-year-old Mass liturgy remains an influence in our culture even in the most secular formats.
    God bless–Kim D.

  4. Katherine

    Your email had me, literally, laughing out loud. Thanks!

  5. Mary

    Thanks for promoting the Holy Spirit Novena.

  6. Kathleen@so much to say, so little time

    Love the Yaya story, as usual. πŸ™‚

  7. Danielle Bean

    Awesome links to the novena videos! I will be posting them at F&F Live for all nine days. Thanks, Jen, for a great resource.

  8. deanna

    I always look forward to Friday's quick takes and love it when I can post. Peace.

  9. Michelle

    Thanks for the book suggestion!

    And thanks for the inspiration to do the Novena this week…I had never heard of it and am very blessed to have found your suggestion yesterday.

    have a terrific weekend!

  10. That Married Couple

    Giggling at number 5. My husband always has a strange look on his face if he turns on the TV and EWTN is on!

  11. Mary Kate

    Regarding number two, last year I had the privilege of of sitting next to Tim Peters on a flight. He heads Helping hands Korea. A very nice, unassuming man. After I returned home I found this article about him and his organization: http://www.time.com/time/asia/covers/501060501/story.html

  12. Mama Bean

    I had a stopover in Seoul on my way to Japan. We drove to the hotel along elevated highways. The city below was dotted with little red neon crosses – a church on virtually every corner. It remains one of the most moving things I've ever seen. Looking forward to reading the Nat Geo article (it's my next tab in the browser…) Thanks as always for the post πŸ™‚

  13. Sarah Boyle Webber

    Even though I'm not Catholic (belong to a very orthodox UMC church presently) I am still interested in trying the Holy Spirit novena this week. Thanks for the links.

    I still use a password from college and I graduated in 1997. I don't forget it, though, and these days, that's important. πŸ™‚

  14. Gina

    Thank you so much for the "Chapter by Chapter" recommendation. Also the coffee stencils. I think I'll get one for my dad for his birthday.

    There is always something good on this blog! πŸ™‚

  15. Katie

    Thanks for hosting Jen … this is my first 7 quick takes! Also, I am intrigued by the coffee text thing . . . I wonder if it works well?

  16. Jamie

    I have a crazy old college password as well! Good to know that I'm not the only one.

    I will have to look into the Holy Spirit Novena. Would that begin tonight and end on Pentecost? I'll have to look it up!

  17. Thankful

    This is my first, but I have definitely been following yours and the others! TGIF!

  18. Salome Ellen

    My "almost-everything" password is the (very unusual) name of a character in a science fiction novel my husband wrote but which has never been published, plus some digits. If he ever finds a publisher I'm going to need to make some drastic changes, because it's a main character, but for now it's easy to remember and impossible to guess. ;-D

  19. Young Mom

    Thanks for number 1! And your note to your hubs had me laughing!

  20. Christian H

    Yeah. It's somehow strange changing passwords that are the names of those now deceased. It seems almost like an insult to their memory…

    Also, there's a rosary station?

  21. Roxane B. Salonen

    Jen, I laughed at the email you sent to your husband when Yaya arrived. That's priceless! I can truly imagine it all going down. And thanks for the title of the writing book. I've kind of gotten away from reading about the writing process, but this one sounds like a title I can't ignore. Thanks…and have a blessed weekend. Oh, I haven't read the NG article yet but love the idea of heading straight for the cross. Don't we all need this advice, like, every day? πŸ™‚ Powerful!

  22. abroadermark

    I think I should win a prize for having the longest "quick" takes in the history of 7 Quick Takes Friday. I was quite the overachiever this week. Thanks for hosting, Jen!

  23. Kelly the Kitchen Kop

    Wait 'til I tell my friend Ann Marie ("Cheeseslave") that she got a mention on your blog before I did, and I don't even think she's one of your readers, whereas I'm a DIE HARD and read every word! LOL! πŸ™‚

  24. Summer

    Thanks for hosting. I have enjoyed posting a Quick Takes each week.

    Oh, I think my husband need a coffee message. What fun, especially when you spend as much time staring into a coffee mug as he does. πŸ™‚

  25. G

    Great YaYa story! I EWTN & my husband & I watch it everyday but I have wondered why in the world they don't replace that International Rosary in the middle of the afternoon with something more timely…not that the Rosary's not timely but the format…well, you know what I mean!

  26. Kris Livovich

    Just had to tell you – the ad on your side bar is for Sex and the City 2. Goes perfectly with your blog, don't you think? πŸ˜‰

  27. Lana

    Thanks for #1, I went out and bought it right away. It is really good.

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