7 Quick Takes Friday

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Join Jennifer over at Conversion Diary for The 7QT Experience!


This has been a rough week on many levels.  The first rough patch is in trying to finish a quilt for a family member.

I’m not a great quilter to begin with (and she asked me to do this in spite of my having made very clear that I’m not a great quilter).  The top is now pieced, and the sandwich made, so I’ve started machine quilting it… only to discover that my machine just does not deliver enough power to the feed dogs to make the stitches long enough, even… or even straight.  I’m on a deadline, baffled as to how to get through this.  My old department at college had industrial machines (not quilters, but they’d do in a pinch).  Alas, that department closed in the spring.


Second Shift of Kid has reached that stage where she has decided to test the limits of the limits she has already tested.  This looks like, “So, I’m not allowed to hit my family members without consequences?  Let’s see what happens when I hit perfect strangers–adults included.”  “I know I’m not supposed to yell during daily Mass, but what happens if I roll around on the floor?”  Etc.  I.  Am.  Fried.


I did read Patti Maguire Armstrong’s new kid fic piece, Dear God, I Don’t Get It.

It’s a sweet and honest moral tale for the 7-12 set.  In it, slightly-shy Aaron, age 12, has to move from beautiful Montana to the dreaded Bismark, North Dakota (seems it’d be like this Philly girl needing to move to –GAH!–NEW JERSEY!).  Whether defending himself or his faith, poor Aaron seems to be doing nothing but making enemies, and his efforts to turn things around are dubious at best.  Then his new life throws him new opportunities, both to fall into heroism and to choose playing the hero’s part.  What will he choose?  Read it and find out.

As a Catholic mom of readers in this age set, I had to love how Aaron’s family’s faith was woven into the story, not as a big deal, but as easy as breathing–asthmatic breathing sometimes, sure, as we see Aaron learn that God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we’d like.  But even the questions and God’s responses to them through the plot were done with a light hand.  I highly recommend.


Here’s something I do but don’t talk about much here:  we do homeschool.  Yeah.  I’m a Catholic writer who homeschools and blogs.  Can we say, “Walking Sterotype?”


Speaking of homeschooling, this was the first week all our neighbors went back to school. We did our annual tradition of going to the movies!  There’s a little second-run theater nearby (when I say “nearby,” I mean “within an hour away,” because we live in a cornfield) that was showing Monsters University.  It was supposed to be a day off, but Second Shift asked if we could count it as hours.  “We can, if we talk about the literary character development in the story.”  So we did.  We talked about how both main characters were dynamic, in that they went from being “bossy and proud” to “cooperative and humble.”  We also talked about the concept of entitlement and how it makes us brats.


Speaking some more of homeschooling, This summer, we learned the books of the New Testament sung to the tune of “Camptown Races.”  Since I believe both are in the public domain, I’ll share our “song” with you:

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts

Romans, both Corinthians

Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians

Both Thessalonians

Two Timothys, one Titus

Philemon, Hebrews, James

1st and 2nd Peter, 3 Johns

Jude and Revelation!

 [To “Shave and a Haircut”] That’s our Catholic [clap] NEW TESTAMENT!

Be sure to finish with “jazz hands.”  That’s key.


Oh!  Official reviews for Don’t You Forget About Me are coming in!  The first one I’ve seen so far was really, really wonderful.  I got the email with it literally SECONDS after praying what I like to call my “Hurley Victory Prayer.”

Yep, that Hurley.  Whenever things are going really badly, I turn to God and say those words from the ep, “Tricia Tanaka is Dead.”  “Look, I don’t know about you, but things have really sucked for me lately, and I could really use a victory. So let’s get one, dude! Let’s get this car started. Let’s look death in the face and say: ‘Whatever, man!'”

So, here’s to the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.  Click on that link to my book page to check when the first review goes live.