CWG Prayer Chain Post: July 5, 2015

The CWG Prayer Chain Post is a weekly post for members to include their special intentions by adding a comment.

Second Corinthians 12:7-10

Wherefore, so that I should not get above myself, I was given a thorn in the flesh, a messenger from Satan to batter me and prevent me from getting above myself. About this, I have three times pleaded with the Lord that it might leave me; but he has answered me, ‘My grace is enough for you: for power is at full stretch in weakness.’ It is, then, about my weaknesses that I am happiest of all to boast, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me; and that is why I am glad of weaknesses, insults, constraints, persecutions and distress for Christ’s sake. For it is when I am weak that I am strong.


The power of prayer and the power of people praying.


JULY INTENTION PRAYER (from Psalms 103)

Bless Yahweh, my soul, from the depths of my being, his holy name;
bless Yahweh, my soul, never forget all his acts of kindness.
He forgives all your offences, cures all your diseases,
he redeems your life from the abyss, crowns you with faithful love and tenderness;
Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger and rich in faithful love;
his indignation does not last for ever, nor his resentment remain for all time;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor repay us as befits our offences.
As the height of heaven above earth, so strong is his faithful love for those who fear him.

Please leave a comment with your intention. If you have problems adding an intention, email it to Mike Hays at coachhays(at)gmail(dot)com and I will add it.  God bless.

Posted in Catholic Writing and Publishing | Leave a comment

Faith on the Edge of a Cliff – Thoughts of a Wyoming Catholic College Student – Episode 2

Photo by clarita, morguefile.com

Photo by clarita, morguefile.com

Last month, I introduced this blog series by describing my enthusiastic discovery of Great Books schools, specifically Wyoming Catholic College, which I will be attending in the fall. This month, I bring up some common doubts and challenges I’ve encountered in advocating a classical, Catholic, liberal education.

The Great Books—or a great waste of time?

Over the past year or so, I’ve had many peers, relatives and adult friends ask me what I want to study in college. When I would reply I wanted to attend a Great Books school, their faces would typically go blank. After I would try to explain, their expressions might shift to a mild concern. What was a “Great Books school,” they’d ask? Why didn’t it have any majors—only a liberal arts degree? Wasn’t I worried about not being able to choose my own courses? What did I expect to do for a career, once I finished with this…unusual method of education?

I’ve had trouble explaining my motives fully to my concerned acquaintances. For the full explanation requires a pouring out of my heart. My desire to go to a Great Books school is so wrapped up in my faith, my love of truth and beauty, and my poetic view of the world, that it isn’t reducible to a single sentence—or even a single conversation. But I do want to address these doubts and questions—not least because they have crossed my mind as well. So I will attempt to answer them here, briefly.

  1. What is a Great Books school?

A Great Books college is one which presents an ordered, integrated curriculum, comprised of the reflective study of the works of the best writers, artists, philosophers and scientists of Western history. The purpose of this education is not only to teach the student about his cultural heritage, but to actually engage him in the conversation of his ancestors, on the perennial human questions: Why do we exist? Is there absolute truth? What is goodness? Who is God? And so on. From poetry to politics to metaphysics, a Great Books education nourishes the imagination, steels and disciplines the mind, and morally orders the soul.

There are a few secular institutions, such as St. John’s College in Annapolis, which still follow this purpose and curriculum. In the case of Wyoming Catholic College, of course, the traditional array of great authors is taught in the context of revealed Church doctrine. The ultimate purpose of the College is to set its students on the path to Heaven. That’s quite a mission statement.

  1. Why does a Great Books school have no majors—only a liberal arts degree?

In higher education today, specialization is rampant. Colleges typically only prepare students for a particular task in society—doctor, lawyer, technician, scientist, etc. Even the traditional humanities have become fragmented disciplines for specialists, tending towards the analytic. (An example: once in a public high school library I saw a poster advertising the school’s digital research tools. The poster displayed a rather bewildered Shakespeare sitting in front of a computer, wondering, “What are they saying about me now?” Right—because the study of Shakespeare is no longer about what Shakespeare has to say, but what specialized literary critics have to say about him.)

The purpose of a Great Books education is general education. These are the principles, the faculties, the insights, the common experience of all humanity. For we are human beings before we are workers of any kind. Catholic liberal education through the Great Books nourishes our uniting essence as free, rational creatures of God. If that doesn’t deserve (at least!) four years of study, I don’t know what does.

  1. Isn’t it troubling that Great Books students cannot choose their own courses?

Flannery O’Connor, writing on how literature classes ought to be taught, once quipped, “And if the student finds that this [teaching method] is not to his taste? Well, that is regrettable…His taste should not be consulted; it is being formed.”

In this light, the typical university’s lure of “self-directed education” is revealed as ridiculous. What right have I, the as-yet-uneducated student, to determine the form and content of my own learning? Humility is required for education—a joyful openness and zeal to wrestle with ideas one never would have considered on one’s own.

There is another advantage to taking the same exact same classes and reading the exact same books as every other student in the college. Common knowledge and interest form culture; when the common interest is the joyful pursuit of wisdom through the Great Books, a community of learners is born who really care about truth, beauty, and the practice of virtuous life. It is this kind of people who quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) change the world for the better.

  1. How does a Great Books school prepare the student for a stable career?

The primary purpose of a Great Books school is general education, not vocational training. That said, of course we all need to make a living, and to serve our fellow men. Technical training has a place. It is a good and useful one. But unless firmly fixed in a society with a strong moral order, even useful disciplines lose their ultimate meaning, opening doors to greed, exploitation, evil and suffering. We do need skillful men and women in our society, but first we need them to be good men and women.

I maintain that a liberal education not only teaches that necessary virtue, but it also lays the foundation for any and all vocational training a student may undergo after he graduates. Any career—medicine, business, education, the fine arts—requires for success a keen, disciplined mind, clear problem solving and communication skills, and a patient and persevering spirit. These qualities a Great Books school cultivates; it develops a person’s innate human potential, before sending him or her to a particular task in society.

In conclusion, while I do not yet have an exact career plan after college, in all honesty, I’m not worried. I was more worried about studying for an unsatisfying career and being miserable in it. I simply wanted to learn—to know things—to humanly flourish. I will be doing that at Wyoming Catholic College.

 

Posted in Catholic Writing and Publishing, Christian education of youth | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

A Soldier Surrenders, by Susan Peek

cover sample 8 (2)

Susan Peek has introduced another of her friends in high places. Camillus de Lellis lived in the sixteenth century, a time of saints and turmoil. Nonetheless, his life and example relate especially well to our times. His résumé included life as a soldier, a veteran, a wounded warrior, a gambler, a drunk, a homeless person, a nurse/orderly, a hospital administrator, a founder of a religious order, and ultimately a saint.

With his father, a fellow mercenary, he chased armies, joined battles and spent his free time carousing and card-sharking. De Lellis sold his loyalty to the highest bidder, so his motivations weren’t always the most noble. After battles, he gambled and drank away his wages leaving him hungry, homeless, and reliant on his luck at cards.

A giant of a man, Camillus could have inspired today’s movie makers with his battlefield heroics. However, the real Camillus de Lellis stood in stark contrast to the current trends in action movies that present warriors as graceful, powerful, lethal, and photogenic, even after an hour of cinematic mayhem. The author provided a more honest representation of sword, musket, and hand-to-hand combat and its blood-splattered, weary and wretched participants.

Piety came later in the life of Camillus de Lellis and only after a series of false starts. Although he healed from his battle wounds, a mysterious and painful leg ailment dogged and humiliated him. It also disqualified Camillus from vocations that seemed well suited to his spiritual development. His temper and arrogance cost him jobs and sent him back into destructive behavior. Like the biblical Balaam, de Lellis finally saw the light with the help of an equine companion.

Susan Peek has written A Soldier Surrenders with love. She engages her audiences with the depiction of a man who shared many of our weaknesses, yet, despite his limitations, handicaps and bad choices, his example still encourages us to persevere in our pursuit of our calling to holiness. A Soldier Surrenders would serve as a sympathetic companion for us all, especially for those with lives shattered by war, chronic pain, homelessness, unemployment, or chemical dependency.

Posted in Book Review, Catholic Fiction, Catholic Theme, Faith, History, The Mystery of Suffering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Organization for the Writing Life

clockNone of us has enough time, but we might improve considerably our approach to the time we do have.

I suggest we consider time ‘as Catholics,’ ‘as professionals,’ and ‘as artists’ to make the most of time.

Catholic Time

As Catholics, we should have regular recourse to refreshment in ‘time out of time.’ I can’t say enough about the role of Sabbath-keeping, Liturgy, and holy leisure in the life of a Catholic artist. Essential, critical, pivotal…and largely ignored. (See Souls at Rest for more on this.)

Professional Time

To see yourself as a professional writer – whether or not you make money at it – is to place your creativity and passion within the helpful boundaries of discipline, time management and deadlines. This may feel like a cramping of your style, but these constraints can actually free you to accomplish much more.

David Allen is famous in the world of business for his approach to time management (Getting Things Done), but writers and artists may not yet be familiar with his helpful advice. His is a system of Project- rather than Time-Management, so it lends itself very well to writing projects, which often involve a series of tasks (interview, research, transcribe, draft, proof, get feedback, check sources, format, send to collaborators, etc…) – many of which are not the writing itself.

What’s great about this is that we may continue to work on a project constructively, even when we aren’t in the mood to write. What’s bad about this is that all those other tasks make a project feel so oppressive and complex, we can’t write, or we avoid digging into the project at all.

Allen’s basic framework is to make a different file for each Project, with a list of the Next Actions required to complete it, in order. If you can’t do it now, all at once, it’s not a Task, but a Project. If it’s a task, schedule it, do it, and move on. If you have no clear actions to take, this is not a Project, but an Idea, or a Reference, and should be tucked away or tossed. One Project file might be Develop Ideas, and its Action steps, 1) Pull Idea File for Reflection, 2) Turn Three Ideas into Projects by clarifying action steps.

This Idea file is particularly important for writers, because we are constantly generating new ideas that can clutter our work flow and distract us. As Allen teaches, we must have a system in place to ‘capture’ all the ideas, information and stimuli that bombard us on a daily basis. That system must be trustworthy. As we learn to use and to trust it, we grow more able to let go of these things in order to focus on the tasks at hand – the Next Actions which move each of our Projects forward.

Having reviewed our myriad Project files and compiled a listing of just one action (the first one) for each Project, we now have a clarity about the use of our time that prevents our hiding under disorder. We see what to do, we do it, we do the next thing, and have the delightful experience of watching one or more Projects actually get accomplished. This does wonders for boosting the energy, the willingness to do work, without which, nothing.

Maybe you can only block off one hour a day, but you waste none of that time wondering what to do next. As you reflect each week on how this process worked for you, you may find you need to tweak it a bit. Did you start to “Write First Draft” and realize you should have broken that down into “Outline” and “Write”? Maybe you got ready to write, and realized that “Clear desk,” “Get paper and pens,” and “Arrange babysitting for writing day” should have been your prior Actions for the Project.

Live and learn! It’s this kind of gritty detail that helps move ideas into reality. You’re learning to manage yourself, your environment, your commitments, your project process, your filing and calendar and capture systems, and your evaluation/adjustment process – not time, which is actually not in your control!

When I began to use Allen’s approach, I had to turn my mountain into molehills. Instead of noting reference links, I had made 2, 3, 4 copies of materials needed for different projects. Now, the references (quotations, articles, book and interview notes, etc…) stay where they belong, duly noted in the appropriate projects wherever needed for Action. I discovered a good bit of mis-filed material in my overstuffed files. I realized that “Map Action Needed” is an Action in its own right – a step that takes time, is worthy of doing, necessary and valuable.

I saw I had a pattern of avoiding certain work, and of hesitating to ‘own’ and support my own ideas. I saw that I was undermining myself when I scribbled memos on tiny scraps that could hardly be read, much less deciphered later. I felt real accomplishment on completing even the ‘extra’ tasks required in a writing project.

I loved being able to choose from an array of First Actions one that fit my current mood, energy level, or amount of time available. Taking these aspects of my own being into account (instead of trying to be the slave driver, forcing myself to do work) made me less rebellious about doing what I had planned to do. I began to feel that, not only could I trust my system, I could trust myself!

Best of all, this approach helped me evaluate my own priorities – acting as a visual, physical mind map to clarify the many related ideas and projects swirling in my brain. When every idea has approximately the same very low chance of being realized, it’s much harder to discern which ones are more important. When it becomes apparent that what you intend to do is very likely going to be done, God willing, then you take the various projects seriously enough to make subtle judgments about which ones are the best ones to invest in.

Artist Time

The last way I recommend you look at time is as an artist. By this I mean that you build in the kind of buffer you need in order to process your materials as a human being, and not as a machine. An artist must consider not only the quantity of time, but also the quality of time. You need to think about and evaluate what conditions are conducive to the kind of mental/emotional/spiritual process involved in your line of work.

As a Catholic, you are making time for inaction, for being acted upon by God, for refreshing your very being, for its own sake. As a professional, you take seriously the need for planning, systems, evaluation and effective use of time. As an artist, you concern yourself with yourself as a performer or craftsman, and take seriously the implications of the fact that you are a fine instrument with reasonable demands to make as to your care and maintenance.

These demands might need to be adjusted in light of family responsibilities, a primary vocation, or the needs of others, but they need to be given authentic attention, and they take time. Does your time need to be quiet, or do you need to schedule work when concerts may be heard blaring on your stereo? Do you need space to spread out your project, and protection from anyone who might interfere with it? When can that happen? How long can that project remain on the kitchen table without infringing on your housemates? Do you need time to get into the flow of work, go through a preparation ritual, set up materials and tools just right, or be quite alone? You must try to build these realities into any work system you design, or it won’t be true to you, or enable you to work in truth and freedom.

I hope you’ll enjoy taking organization seriously as a real factor in your work capacity. It can be hard to merge the ‘creative’ and ‘efficient’ aspects of the writing life, but it is a delightful adventure to  integrate them more effectively.

Posted in Catholic Writing and Publishing, The Writing Life, Writing Tips and Tricks | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Earth to Catholics: It’s Time to Change

IMG_1762For the past week, I have noted with interest and sadness the strong negative reaction of many Catholics to Pope Francis’ new encyclical, Laudato Si. Apparently, the Pope’s call to radical conversion, not only in how we treat the Earth but also in how we deal with the economy and our fellow human beings, has made more than a few people smoking mad. It seems to have caused a particular uproar among those who classify themselves as “conservative,” leading to name calling and accusations that Pope Francis is a “socialist,” “leftist,” or even worse, the Antipope.

Last week I wrote a blog entitled, “Why I Remain Catholic,” which centered primarily on the great gift of Christ in the Eucharist. There wasn’t enough space in that blog to elaborate upon the second major reason that I remain Catholic, but now seems like an opportune time to expound upon that theme. The second reason I remain Catholic is the because of the authority of the Church, which was instituted by Christ for our salvation, our protection, and our good. What a breath of liberating, expansive air it was to discover and submit to the authority that Christ instituted on earth to speak and act in His stead—the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, over which Pope Francis presides.

In “Why I Remain Catholic,” I mentioned that when I was a Protestant, I witnessed two church splits and an ego-showdown between pastors, all in five short years. Some of this division was over doctrine, but much of it was over money, posturing and pride. I personally experienced the unhappy result of having no one who was ultimately in charge, as well as the anarchy to which it leads, as various people with varying opinions competed for dominance in the church. Difference of opinion? Start a new church. Another conflict? Split again. Tragically, this scenario plays itself out over and over again in the Protestant world, hence the vast multitude of denominations.

When I returned to the Catholic Church, it took me a while (okay, years!) to become inculcated in a new way of thinking. That “new way” included coming to believe that a higher authority exists than my own set of opinions, my own interpretation of the Bible, or even my pastor’s interpretation of the Bible, for that matter. It also involved accepting the idea that Jesus Himself established the Catholic Church and its governing hierarchy. The “new way” then involved placing myself in submission to this authority with humility and trust, a wildly radical change for me, not to mention a profoundly counter-cultural maneuver. (I was famous for saying: “I’ll never place myself under the authority of some man,” echoing the voice of popular culture.)

Embracing this uniquely Catholic way of viewing reality grounded me in something so much bigger than myself, namely two thousand plus years of history, Tradition and doctrinal consistency, along with two millennia of papal leadership which continues to this day. While it may seem like blind stupidity to place oneself under the authority of the Church, untold thousands (maybe millions) of Catholic converts and “reverts” like me have found that it is precisely this leap of faith that, paradoxically, leads not to bondage, but to freedom, joy and peace. Submission and assent are part and parcel of what it means to be Catholic, both of which are sorely lacking in the attitudes of today’s Catholic pundits who claim to know more than the Pope, and in fact, more than Holy Spirit, Who guided Pope Francis’ election to the papacy.

But back to the Pope’s encyclical. While an encyclical is not an infallible teaching instrument, it should nonetheless be received with an attitude of reverence, respect and assent. Furthermore, a spirit of humility toward and trust in this exercise of the Pope’s teaching authority is called for and should be expected among Catholics, instead of open dissent against the Pope, his leadership and his guidance.

When did it become vogue for Catholics to challenge every word that comes forth from the Pope’s mouth, encouraging division, rancor, and outright defiance, instead of unity, obedience and just some plain old respect?  It seems that our family pundits have been formed more by Jerry Springer and shock T.V. than by Catholic spirituality, a chief mark of which is unity. And why are people so darn angry in the first place? In short, because Pope Francis is challenging us to change. To change our way of thinking and living and consuming for a return to the simplicity of the Gospel. To change the way we treat the world and its people by ceasing to regard them merely as objects of consumption. And to change the way we interact with nature that we may again realize that we are not its lords, but its stewards. The specifics of the encyclical you may find therein. But its message in no uncertain terms calls each and every one of us to conversion—and apparently that really stings.

It reminds me of the reaction the Pharisees had to the message of Jesus, for which they crucified the Lord. It calls to mind the reaction of King Herod to the message of John the Baptist, over which Herod cut off his head. The time has come for a renewal in the fundamental attitudinal disposition of the faithful—in those who claim to be Catholic, and especially in those who claim to be more Catholic than the Pope. How can we expect to evangelize and transform the secular world when we refuse to be transformed ourselves?

So what’s the bottom line? It ain’t rocket science, and it ain’t about climate change. Instead, it is pointedly about attitude change, about personal change, about heart change.

Earth to Catholics: It’s time to change.

Posted in Catholic Writing and Publishing, Defending the Faith, Faith | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Marketing – Writing and using Press Releases (for 6/29)

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Many years ago, my late friend and fellow writer Karen Riley taught me how to write a press release. She spent many years in journalism and knew the importance of using press releases in your marketing plan. Journalists are always looking for new stories and pieces that will interest their editors and readers. The thing that I, as a novelist, had to learn is that a press release needs to be short and sweet. There are accepted forms and templates that you can find by googling “how to write a Press Release” that all fit the bill. The one thing they all have in common is that they are concise and to the point. I will share the template that Karen taught me here:

 

(Photo of yourself, the book or the award you are announcing)

(Title or announcement)

First Paragraph – who, what, when, where and why?  All of the information should be included in your first paragraph. Remember that a reporter works on a deadline.  You are not trying to ‘hook’ the reporter. Give the journalist what they need right away and they are more likely to place a piece in the paper.

Second Paragraph – an explanation of the announcement what is the novel about, the award for, the event being presented) Keep it concise.

(Photo of yourself, the book or the event venue or award) Papers love photos and don’t want to search for them. So supply them if you can.

References or quotes that the reporter can use in their piece.  Be sure to include the source of your quote or reference so the reporter doesn’t have to look them up. Remember that  you want to make it easy for the paper to use your press release instead of someone else’s.

Use a quote from yourself.  Add a picture of yourself if you haven’t already used one. Two photos per press release are more than enough.

End with sources that the journalist can use to expand or research.  Such as your website, your publisher’s website, the venue’s website, etc.  Give the journalist a source for the photos and book covers. Try to use high-resolution photos. Include a contact person and how to contact them via email or phone for further information.

End your press release with 3 centered hash tags (###) this is the accepted and professional way to end a press release.

Remember that a press release should never be more than one page. Give the receiver the sites they need if they want more, but keep it short.

Once you have your basic press release done, save it. You may tweak it according to whom you are reaching out to. Now where should you send it? I am always shocked by how little authors use the press releases to market their books. It is one of the best ways I know to promote. I break down whom I send presses releases into three categories:

  1. Local papers, local television shows, libraries, bookstores, writer’s groups, book clubs, etc.

For example, I sent my first press release to three local papers. When you are sending your P.R. look at the paper’s website and decide what reporter or editor your news would interest most. My local paper surprised me by doing a two page spread on my first book. They wanted a piece on self-publishing. Their headline was “Jackson author puts her faith in publishing.” My sales tripled. It wasn’t what I expected, but it got my novel out there!

  1. State newspapers, television shows, bookstores, book clubs and any organization that is related to my subject.

For example, I sent press releases to organizations that promoted for and raised money for children with Down Syndrome when the main character of my third novel was a little girl with Downs. They couldn’t promote my novel because of its religious bent, but I got many speaking engagements from that one press release.

When I wrote my book on surviving cancer, press releases notified local cancer venues and I was asked to speak and sell my work at their venues.

  1. National papers, magazines, television talk shows, national book store chains, individual national TV personalities, movie stars, agents, movie moguls, producers, etc.

I call this my ‘shot in the dark’ move. I try to do a far-fetched press release at least once a week. So far I haven’t had any success but a friend of mine had her book featured on Oprah Winfrey’s book blog by simply sending a press release.

My marketing plan calls for me to send out three press releases a week. Lately I have neglected this great marketing tool, but sending out one P.R. for each of the categories above has been the easiest and most successful promotional device I have found.

 

 

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CWG Prayer Chain Post: June 28, 2015

The CWG Prayer Chain Post is a weekly post for members to include their special intentions by adding a comment.

Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24

For God did not make Death, he takes no pleasure in destroying the living. To exist — for this he created all things; the creatures of the world have health in them, in them is no fatal poison, and Hades has no power over the world: for uprightness is immortal. For God created human beings to be immortal, he made them as an image of his own nature; Death came into the world only through the Devil’s envy, as those who belong to him find to their cost.


The power of prayer and the power of people praying.


JUNE INTENTION PRAYER 

A Prayer For a Family

O dear Jesus,
I humbly implore You to grant Your special graces to our family.
May our home be the shrine of peace, purity, love, labor and faith.
I beg You, dear Jesus, to protect and bless all of us, absent and present, living
and dead.

O Mary,
loving Mother of Jesus,
and our Mother,
pray to Jesus for our family,
for all the families of the world,
to guard the cradle of the newborn,
the schools of the young and their vocations.

Blessed Saint Joseph,
holy guardian of Jesus and Mary,
assist us by your prayers
in all the necessities of life.
Ask of Jesus that special grace
which He granted to you,
to watch over our home
at the pillow of the sick and the dying,
so that with Mary and with you,
heaven may find our family unbroken
in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Amen.

Please leave a comment with your intention. If you have problems adding an intention, email it to Mike Hays at coachhays(at)gmail(dot)com and I will add it.  God bless.

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From the President’s Desk – June Ponderings

Photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

Photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

“There is a good reason they call these ceremonies ‘commencement exercises.’ Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.” Orrin Hatch

This has been an exciting month at the Hrkach household. #3 son graduated from Ottawa University (photo to the right) a few weeks ago and #4 son graduated from high school yesterday. At the university commencement, the speaker said that with new technology and healthier lifestyles, many of the students (22- and 23-year-olds) could expect to live another hundred years. Therefore, they could “return for the 200th anniversary of the university in 2115.”

Another reason it’s been a busy month is because the conference committee has been finalizing its plans for the Catholic Writers Conference Live, set to take place July 22-24th in Somerset, New Jersey. If you’re planning to attend and haven’t registered, please do so ASAP at this link.

A group of Indie Catholic authors have gotten together for a huge group sale. If you’re interested, check it out here.

Are you working on a unpublished manuscript? Would you like feedback from more experienced authors? We have active critique groups for both fiction and non-fiction. Just let me know if you’re interested and I’ll connect you with the right person.

Finally, the Catholic Writers Retreat will be taking place in late October. I’ll be attending and looking forward to some reflection and writing time! Here’s the information: Catholic Writers Retreat: Your Word is My Delight. October 25-29, 2015. St. Francis Retreat Center, 703 E. Main Street, DeWitt, Michigan 48820. Register on line at this link. Click on “Other Offerings,” or call 866-669-8321. $490 for five days.

As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Enjoy the warmer weather!

Blessings,

Ellen Gable Hrkach
President, CWG

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CWG Prayer Chain Post: June 21, 2015

The CWG Prayer Chain Post is a weekly post for members to include their special intentions by adding a comment.

Mark 4:35-41

With the coming of evening that same day, he said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him. Then it began to blow a great gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him, ‘Master, do you not care? We are lost! And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet now! Be calm! And the wind dropped, and there followed a great calm. Then he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened? Have you still no faith? They were overcome with awe and said to one another, ‘Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.


The power of prayer and the power of people praying.


JUNE INTENTION PRAYER 

A Prayer For a Family

O dear Jesus,
I humbly implore You to grant Your special graces to our family.
May our home be the shrine of peace, purity, love, labor and faith.
I beg You, dear Jesus, to protect and bless all of us, absent and present, living
and dead.

O Mary,
loving Mother of Jesus,
and our Mother,
pray to Jesus for our family,
for all the families of the world,
to guard the cradle of the newborn,
the schools of the young and their vocations.

Blessed Saint Joseph,
holy guardian of Jesus and Mary,
assist us by your prayers
in all the necessities of life.
Ask of Jesus that special grace
which He granted to you,
to watch over our home
at the pillow of the sick and the dying,
so that with Mary and with you,
heaven may find our family unbroken
in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Amen.

Please leave a comment with your intention. If you have problems adding an intention, email it to Mike Hays at coachhays(at)gmail(dot)com and I will add it.  God bless.

Posted in Catholic Writing and Publishing | Leave a comment

Freelancing – When Your Manuscript Is Accepted

You’ve been checking e-mail constantly looking for the message that says, “Manuscript accepted!” Finally it arrives, you’ve done it, you’re published and you will get paid for your work.

CUE ANGELIC CHOIR

Now you can start running to your mailbox constantly or logging into your bank account looking for the EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer).

Getting the money can be as frustrating as making the sale and it all depends on when the publisher issues payment. There are several options that companies can use:

1) Pay on Acceptance – this is the best for the writer. Once your manuscript is accepted as written the publisher will issue a check (or send it via PayPal or EFT).

2) Pay on Publication – this seems to be what the majority of publishers use. What this means is that once your manuscript is accepted as written you are due payment when the work appears in print or online on the publisher’s site. This means you could get paid in a month or two or in a year or more; it depends on when the publisher plans to use your work. Many magazines have submission dates that are six months or more prior to publication. This is one reason why freelancers need to keep good records of who they submitted/sold to and when.

3) Pay on Use (or something similar) – few publishers use this but they are out there. What this means is that they like what you wrote and feel they can use it sometime in the future but even they don’t know when. Personally I do not submit to such companies.

Along with knowing when you are going to be paid is the question of rights. When you sell your work to a publisher you are granting them the right to use it. There are different rights and these affect your earnings.

Some of the different rights a writer can run up against are:

1) One-time Use: the publisher pays for the right to print your work on their site. It may state they have exclusive use of it for a specified time period – one month, one year, etc. Once the specified time period is over, you are free to re-sell the piece.

2) Perpetual Rights – this is the other end of the spectrum. This means once you sell your work to the publisher they own it forever and you can never sell it again.

In between these two options there are many variations. The author must clearly understand what rights they are agreeing to when they make a sale so read the agreement carefully!

Along with when you get paid and the rights you are selling there is the matter of submissions. Maybe I should have started this article with this topic but heck, I’m a volunteer and I’ll do it my way.

Where submissions are concerned, publishers will specify that they accept one of the following:

1) Only original unpublished work not currently being submitted to other publishers.

2) Only original unpublished work; however, you may simultaneously submit this work to other publishers.

3) The publisher accepts articles that were previously published (called reprints).

The freelancer will want to keep track of what they have sold, when they should receive payment and if they can resell their work at a later date. Selling reprints maximizes your income.

In a future article we will cover reusing your work as opposed to reprinting.

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