Catholic Writers Conference Live 2018 Highlights #cwcl2018 #cmn2018

I had a wonderful time in Lancaster, Pennsylvania this past week at the Catholic Writers Conference Live and the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show! Here are just a few of the highlights.

CWCL 1a

Dinner with fellow Guild members, a few bookstore owners and a surprise friend from Canada!

CWCL 1

Clockwise: Fr. Don Calloway giving his keynote presentation at the Catholic Writers Conference Live; fellow Guildies and dear friends/authors Lisa Mladinich and Mary Lou Rosien; with “fans” Dr. Jean Egolf and her daughter; the CWG booth.

CWCL 2a

With some of the Guild members and Fr. Don Calloway.

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Clockwise from left: Historic St. Mary’s, Lancaster Convention Center, Historic St. Mary’s (exterior), inside the convention center and Greenwood Cemetery (where some of my Gable ancestors are buried)

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Top: FQP Authors: Back row: me, Dr. Barbara Golder, Michelle Buckman, Amanda Lauer; front row: Carolyn Astfalk, Erin McCole Cupp, Karina Fabian and Arthur Powers. Bottom: the Writer and Spirituality panel (left to right: Arthur Powers, me, Marge Fenelon and Lisa Mladinich.) Right: with my dear friend and fellow Guildie and author of children’s novels, Karen Kelly Boyce.

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New Anthology, Image and Likeness, Puts Life Into the Theology of the Body

Image and Likeness: Short Reads Reflecting the Theology of the Body, with a foreword by Damon OwensMy latest from Catholic Mom:

If St. John Paul II ever summarized his Theology of the Body, it may have been when he said, “Man cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.” But how does this sincere gift look when lived out by human beings with all their failings? What happens to our humanity when we withhold that sincere gift? What does life require of us when we give most deeply?

Full Quiver Publishing brings you this moving collection of poetry and prose, featuring some of today’s brightest Catholic literary voices, including award-winning authors Dena Hunt, Arthur Powers, Michelle Buckman, Leslie Lynch, Theresa Linden, and many more. By turns edgy and sweet, gritty and deft, but always courageous and honest, the works contained in Image and Likeness explore countless facets of human love—and human failure. Readers of Image and Likeness will experience in a variety of ways how humanity, in flesh as well as spirit, lives out the image and likeness of a God who created human intimacy to bring forth both our future and to illustrate our ultimate meaning as human persons.

When asked where the idea for the book came from, editor and publisher Ellen Gable said, “I got the idea a few years back after I read a short story from another member of the Catholic Writers Guild.  When I sent out an initial request to other members of the Guild, I only received five stories but one of the authors, Erin McCole Cupp, said she had some ideas for a few Theology of the Body-themed short stories.”

Editor and contributor Erin McCole Cupp, says: “I had two separate ideas I’d been batting around for a while, and I knew they were short story ideas and not novels, but I couldn’t imagine what to do with them. Ellen’s request gave me the kick in the pants to write both “Good for Her” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Sunday Brunch.”  Once I had them written, I offered — okay, I begged — Ellen to let me do some of the legwork on this.  I loved the idea of an anthology, a space where authors and readers could come together to see both the dark and the light side of living TOB in a fallen world.

Ellen Gable continues, “When Erin asked me last year if we could release the book on St. John Paul II’s feast day of October 22, I thought that was a perfect date.  However, I had no idea that that would also be the day my son and his fiancée would choose for their wedding day.  So while we were in the midst of last-minute wedding preparations, I was also trying to get this book ready for publication.”

To find additional contributors, Erin and Ellen took two approaches.  Erin clarifies, “We put a call for submissions on the Image and Likeness Anthology page, but we also asked some authors in our networks if they would be interested in contributing either something already written or something written specifically for this project.”

Damon Owens, International Theology of the Body expert, wrote the foreword.  “I am indebted to the authors and poets of Image and Likeness for their gifted storytelling of real life “ugly.” This book isn’t afraid to hold our gaze into the darkness of sin, doubt, and brokenness before the resolution of redemption. Some of these stories are heartbreaking to read precisely because I know this is true. Some of them I will never forget because of their unexpected turn to redemption. Through and through, this is an artistic instruction in TOB that shows us the wounds needing the balm, the balm applied, and the health and wholeness of men and women healed. And, like every well-told story, its penetrating TOB truths will influence even the most reluctant reader.”

When asked who should be reading Theology of the Body fiction, Erin answered, “Since TOB is just the truth, and all fiction is supposed to be aimed at truth, I think all readers should be reading TOB fiction.  On the flip side of that coin, when it comes down to it, I believe pretty strongly that all fiction should be TOB fiction.  Art, if it is to be any good, must serve truth.  If it’s just a wad of lies in a tasty package, then it’s not art; it’s propaganda.  What drives me most to write and share TOB fiction is that it ought to be nothing more than a candle in the darkness, a light down the dark hall of living in this culture that is so bound up with lies we can’t even tell the difference between love and hate anymore.  TOB draws a clear line between the two, and that line is truth.  As I always tell my kids, ‘You can believe what you want, but that doesn’t make it reality.’  TOB fiction is a window into reality. As the contributors show so successfully, I think, in Image and Likeness, reality is harsh.  Reality is full of tough choices.  Reality is full of consequences.  But reality is true, so we do ourselves no favors if we believe something other than reality.  The fiction we read is a school for reality.  If we school our hearts and souls in lies, then we are not preparing ourselves to live in truth.”

Readers should be aware that the anthology includes mature themes, content and language.

For more information and for interviews and bios of the contributors, check out the Image and Likeness page on WordPress.

It’s available on Kindle at this link and in paperback at this link.

Special thanks to Erin McCole Cupp for writing the synopsis for the anthology!

Image and Likeness Now Available!

Image and Likeness: Short Reads Reflecting the Theology of the Body, with a foreword by Damon OwensImage and Likeness: Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body is now available on Kindle and in paperback from Amazon. This anthology is edited by Erin McCole Cupp and myself and both of us have stories included in the collection.

If St. John Paul II ever summarized his Theology of the Body, it may have been when he said, “Man cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.” But how does this sincere gift look when lived out by human beings with all their failings? What happens to our humanity when we withhold that sincere gift? What does life require of us when we give most deeply?

Full Quiver Publishing brings you this moving collection of poetry and prose, featuring some of today’s brightest Catholic literary voices, including award-winning authors Dena Hunt, Arthur Powers, Michelle Buckman, Leslie Lynch, Theresa Linden, and many more. By turns edgy and sweet, gritty and deft, but always courageous and honest, the works contained in Image and Likeness explore countless facets of human love—and human failure. Readers of Image and Likeness will experience in a variety of ways how humanity, in flesh as well as spirit, lives out the image and likeness of a God who created human intimacy to bring forth both our future and to illustrate our ultimate meaning as human persons.

With a Foreword by international Theology of the Body voice Damon Owens, Image and Likeness puts life and breath into St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body in ways that readers won’t soon forget.

Warning: mature themes, content and language.

Reviews:

Barb writes: “What, exactly, are “literary reflections on the Theology of the Body?” They’re stories and poems about how we live, and how we live our lives in relationship with each other, with our bodies, with our souls, and with God. It’s not some complicated, esoteric subject. Because it’s an anthology, there’s something for everyone, from detective stories to poetry to tales of family life that range from the harrowing to the uplifting. These stories and poems are about life. Like life, they are not always neat and tidy and packaged in a pretty box with a crisply-tied ribbon. I’ve come to expect just this from other work from Full Quiver Publishing: this publisher does not shy away from difficult subjects and situations in its commitment to promoting the culture of life and the Church’s teaching on marriage and family.”

An Open Book Family says: “Recommended for reading, reflection, discussion, and even entertainment. A gritty but beautiful introduction not only to the Theology of the Body as it is lived (or rejected), but also to the breadth and promise of Catholic fiction being written by contemporary authors. These shorts are accessible to any careful reader, whether familiar with the Theology of the Body or not.”

Readers can buy the paperback book on Amazon at this link.

It’s available on Kindle at this link.

Highlights of the Catholic Writers Conference and #CMN2016

Radio interview...

Radio interview…

Just a fraction of the contributors to the Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion.

Just a fraction of the contributors to the Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion.

CWG Booth

The CWG Booth!

Dinner out with Andy

Out to dinner with Andy LaVallee, Dr. Barbara Golder and Kathy!

Lisa and Ellen

Lisa Hendey and I giving a presentation on Facebook and Goodreads (thanks to Amy Cattapan for the photo!)

Misc CWCL

Accepting the CALA award, FQP contributors, taking questions from the audience and our lovely presenters’ aid, Terri!

More images from CWCL

More moments from the CMN and CWCL!

With Priests for Live and Teresa Tomeo

With Fr. Frank Pavone, Teresa Tomeo and Janet Morana! #CMN2016

Catholic Writers Conference 2016

Check out this wonderful video for the Catholic Writers Guild upcoming conference:

Prominent Catholic Writers to Speak at Conference in Schaumburg, Illinois

Contact: Ann Lewis, 317-755-2693

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., June 16, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Several prominent Catholic writers will speak at the eighth annual Catholic Writers Conference LIVE taking place July 27-29 at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg, Illinois (near Chicago.) Sponsored by the Catholic Writers Guild and the Catholic Marketing Network (CMN) and held in conjunction with CMN’s annual retailer trade show, the Catholic Writers Conference LIVE provides Catholic writers with a prime opportunity to meet and share their faith with editors, publishers, fellow writers, and bookstore owners from across the globe. The theme of this year’s conference is “Openness to God’s Will.”

Presenters include keynote speaker Margaret Rose Realy (A CATHOLIC GARDENER’S SPIRITUAL ALMANAC), authors Gary Zimak (FROM FEAR TO FAITH), Karina Fabian (GREATER TREASURES), Lisa Mladinich (TRUE RADIANCE), Lisa Hendey (THE GRACE OF YES), Ellen Gable (STEALING JENNY) and many others.

The conference will give authors an opportunity to meet personally with publishing professionals and pitch their writing projects. Some participating publishers are Ignatius Press, Ave Maria Press, and Servant Books. In addition, attendees have the opportunity to sign up for a fiction critique workshop with award-wining short fiction writer Arthur Powers (A HERO FOR THE PEOPLE), a non-fiction critique group with Nancy Ward (joyalive.net) and attend writing workshops with novelists John Desjarlais (SPECTER) and Michelle Buckman (RACHEL’S CONTRITION). Michelle Buckman will also be offering one-on-one critique sessions. Information for all these events can be found on the conference website.

The Catholic Writers Guild, a religious non-profit organization affiliated with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, sponsors this conference in July, an online conference in March, and a writers’ retreat in October to further its mission of promoting Catholic literature. CWG President, Joseph Wetterling, says, “The Guild exemplifies the Catholic ‘both/and’ with writers from every part of the world, in every genre, and from every walk of life. We’re diverse in personality and style but united in our loyalty and love of the Catholic faith. The Catholic Writers Conference Live is a unique opportunity to come together in fellowship and sharpen each other toward our united mission: a rebirth of Catholic arts and letters.”

Registration costs $80 and $45 for students. CWG Members receive a 10% discount. There’s also a discounted registration combined with a CWG membership. To register or for more information, go to www.catholicwritersconference.com.

SQT – #CMN, Catholic Writers Conference Live

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-1024x727Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at This Ain’t the Lyceum for Seven Quick Takes Friday. I had a whirlwind trip to New Jersey for the Catholic Marketing Network and the Catholic Writers Conference Live. Here are seven photos from the CMN and Conference:

Speaking to the bookstore owners on Tuesday (notice the riser to help me see over the podium) Photo courtesy Megan Marley

Speaking to the bookstore owners on Tuesday (notice the riser to help me see over the podium) Photo courtesy Megan Marley

#CMNselfie2015, my attempt at a selfie before my first presentation on Wednesday (with help from Pat Gohn)

#CMNselfie2015, my attempt at a selfie before my first presentation on Wednesday (with help from Pat Gohn)

At the Author Reception, with Father Frank Pavone and Janet Morana (copyright Ellen Hrkach)

At the Author Reception, with Father Frank Pavone and Janet Morana (copyright Ellen Hrkach)

With Author Regina Doman

With Author Regina Doman

#cmnselfie2015 with Ann Lewis and Erin McCole Cupp

#cmnselfie2015 with Ann Lewis and Erin McCole Cupp

With other Guild members: Barb Szyszkiewicz, Marianne Komek and FQP authors Carolyn Astfalk and Erin McCole Cupp

With other Guild members: Barb Szyszkiewicz, Marianne Komek and FQP authors Carolyn Astfalk and Erin McCole Cupp

With new FQP author Karina Fabian and Amazing Catechists founder and author Lisa Mladinich at the CWG Booth

With new FQP author Karina Fabian and Amazing Catechists founder and author Lisa Mladinich at the CWG Booth

Fiction Friday – Infinite Space, Infinite God II

My thanks to Karina Fabian, co-editor of Infinite Space Infinite God II, a sci-fi compilation, for allowing me to post an excerpt from her book. Check out my review here.

Karina is offering a free e-copy of her book to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment below before Monday, May 9th.

This excerpt is from Karina Fabian’s short story, Antivenin:

No, Ann was not durak. Now if Rita could just keep from doing anything lethally stupid. She grabbed the line, gave it a tug of her own to make sure it was secure, and pulled herself to the Mark 16:18.

Once inside the other ship, they exited the suits, positioning them for emergency donning. Then Rita set up the rescue balloons: nanomylar bags large enough to hold a man. Once sealed, a small motor generated air and heat for thirty minutes–an hour with an expansion pack. She pulled out the retractable strap on her medical kit and slung it over her shoulder.

Ann, meanwhile, had tried to contact the pilot and passenger both via the intercom and by yelling down the hall. Nothing.

Sr. Thomas spoke over their headsets. “Small asteroids coming. Brace yourself!”

They managed to grab the threshold just as the ship jinxed wildly to the left.

Sr. Thomas called, “At least two more, but you have a couple of minutes. Ann, can you disable those sensors before we jerk that tow line off?”

Rita’s stomach clutched at the thought. “You go to engineering. I’ll search for wounded.”

Ann hurried down the corridor, while Rita followed more slowly, opening each door to scan the room. The ship was larger than she’d expected: six doors on each side led to rooms that had been converted to storage. Most were packed wall to wall, floor to ceiling, with an empty strip just wide enough for a person to pull something off a shelf and carry it out. She wondered what kind of cargo the ship carried.

It was eerily quiet, with nothing but the background hum of the engine, the hissing of doors and the sound of her own footsteps. What had happened to the crew?

“Rita! I found someone in the center compartment. He’s unconscious. Respiration shallow. He’s drooling a lot. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“Ann, pull up your collar, now.” She pulled at the collar of her own skinsuit. The tightly compacted fibers stretched until the fabric covered her mouth and nose. She pressed along her nose and cheeks with thumb and forefinger, creating a seal. The fabric, actually a sophisticated biofilter, would enable her to breathe while blocking most airborne hazards. “Make him comfortable. I’m on my way. If there’s nothing you can do, go on to engineering.”

“I thought I heard something in the port corridor. I’m going to check that first.”

“But if the tow line breaks–”

“Basilica has more. Tommie will catch us again.”

It only took Rita a minute to get down the long hall, through the pie-shaped galley room and into the central hub. Ann had set the man upright against the wall and put a slap-patch on his cheek: Oxyboost and a mild stimulant. A second patch read his vital signs.

Rita knelt beside him and puzzled over his stats. They looked more like poisoning than a virus. His face was slack, eyelids drooping. She lifted one. The dilated pupils responded sluggishly to the bright light of the room.

Sr. Thomas called over the headset: “Brace!”

Rita braced one hand on each side of the victim. Again the ship jerked. Rita heard the metallic sound of dishes sliding and clattering to the floor. The man bumped against her arms, but did not fall.

Sr. Thomas said, “One more coming. You’ve got about two minutes-thirty, maybe three.”

“Ann?”

“I’m fine. I definitely heard something this time. Last room on the left, port corridor. Door’s jammed.”

The man was stirring feebly now, but not enough to help. Rita muscled him around until she could get her arms under his and drag him back to the rescue bag. Despite the months of heavy exercise, she was panting from exertion as she all but dumped him into the nanomylar bag. The man forced a moan. His hand twitched and bumped her.

“Be still. We’ll get you to our ship where we can treat you.”

He tapped the floor: three slow, two fast. Universal Space Code for “Attention.”

“You want to tell me something? Go ahead. I’m listening.” They’d drilled the universal tap code daily in her training, and at the convent Mother Superior declared “tap code hours” to keep everyone in practice. It had annoyed her no end, but she was glad of it now.

But he tapped, “No. Look. Attention.”

“All right. I’m watching your hand.” Slowly, as if it took great will, he spelled:

A…
N…
T…
I..

“Anti?”

Ann called, “Got it! Opening the door now.”

V…
E…
N…
O…
M

“Antivenom? What?” Was he hallucinating? She pulled up his sleeves, then his pantlegs.

“Rita?” Ann’s voice was a thin ghost of a wail. “Serpents…”

Two small puncture marks, like pinpricks around a slightly swelled area.

“Annie. Just walk out quickly but calmly–”

“Brace!” Sr. Thomas called.

The ship swung, knocking Rita off balance. Through the headset and the ship, she heard Ann scream.

This book is available from Twilight Times Books

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Last but not least, there’s a great promotional trailer for this book on youtube.

Leave a comment below to win a free PDF of Infinite Space Infinite God II!

Copyright 2010 Karina and Robert Fabian