Hi everyone, I’m Julie Davis, new to the Catholic Writers’ Guild but not new to a lot of the familiar names I’ve seen here.
We may have met at my blog, Happy Catholic, which is where I “live” on the internet. Holy Moly, I just looked at my oldest post and saw that I’ve been blogging for 8 years! Quotes, art, books, tv, and … ahem … opinions are all there. It’s always about God wherever we see those glimpses of Him below the surface.
Perhaps you let me read you a story or two at my podcast, Forgotten Classics, where I try my hardest to just be about story. Science fiction, mystery, romance, and kid’s stories are all grist for my “read it aloud” mill. Uncle Tom’s Cabin proved I can’t be just about the story when there’s a chance to drag God into the conversation. Genesis (Robert Alter’s translation) proved it again when an atheist asked me to read this classic from a literary point of view.
Two Catholics talking about books, movies, and the One Reality we find beneath the surface may have led you to try A Good Story is Hard to Find, the podcast I do with Scott Danielson. Everything from Star Trek to Steinbeck is covered there. And, yes, we have discussed Flannery O’Connor stories there too.
I’m also to be found at Happy Catholic’s Bookshelf at Patheos, SFFaudio where I review audio books and occasionally join in their podcast, and way too many other places to have any time to live or write.
If we haven’t met before, you may be interested in my conversion story although I’ll tell you the super-short version: atheist parents, truth-seeking agnostic for at least 40 years and then God whacked me over the head with a 2×4.
And now you’re saying, “What? All that and why are you here at the Catholic Writers’ Guild. Helloooooo, Writers’ Guild!”
Happy Catholic: Glimpses of God in Everyday Life is my book, published by Servant Publishing (thank you!). It has quotes I like, my thoughts on them, and whenever I’m asked how one can actually be a Happy Catholic, I direct them to that book. It’s on Amazon, available for Kindle, and I’ll sign books at the drop of a hat. Just ask. I carry extra quotes with me so you can get one that wouldn’t fit into the book.
I have been invited to drop by every second Saturday of the month and tell you something writers might like (need, want) to hear. Thinking of writing for other writers and editors and story people is an interesting idea that has spurred my imagination.
I had short notice to get us started together so we will begin very simply with a poem I came across yesterday on Goodreads (yes, I’m there too).
You don’t have to be a cat lover to love this poem about writing and cats by an anonymous 9th century Irish monk. He describes perfectly the striving and dedication all writers feel, as well our triumph at solving a problem in just the perfect way.
I and Pangur Bán, my cat
‘Tis a like task we are at;
Hunting mice is his delight
Hunting words I sit all night.
Better far than praise of men
‘Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill will,
He too plies his simple skill.
‘Tis a merry thing to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.
Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur’s way:
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.
‘Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
‘Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.
When a mouse darts from its den,
O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!
So in peace our tasks we ply,
Pangur Bán, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.
Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.
Unknown 9th century Irish monk,
translation by Robin Flowers
Nothing to do with cats or writing, but everything to do with poetry … I have a reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Bells” just posted at Forgotten Classics. Listen to the way those words tumble and ring. I’m telling you they just roll off the tongue, urging you to read faster and faster. Then go find some Poe and read it aloud.