#7QT All the Preparations

It’s Friday, and the day before NaNoWriMo! If you missed it, yesterday I shared a prayer I made up to help me continue writing during November, inspired by Bl. Mother Teresa. Here’s how I prepared.

— 1 —

Whipped up a few posts that needed to get done

Every month, I write a saint series with my friend, Tiffany. I can’t leave my girl hanging in November! So I prepared that and have it ready to go. We love these posts and enjoy finding connections between the saints we choose to share with others. In the process, we learn new fun facts about saints, and lately, Dominican Saints and Blesseds.

I also have my monthly prayer request post ready to go for November. I will definitely be praying all throughout. I’ve come to find that when everything gets unpredictable and crazy, all I have is prayer. Especially the rosary. The repetition of the Hail Mary prayer, soothes me into the land of “it’s all going to be ok, because look, your prayers don’t change”. And nothing soothes me more right now than this rosary (and my family, and this new Skinny Cow Caramel ice cream cone. I mean, WOW).

#7QT All the Preparations Are you participating in #NaNoWriMo this year? How have you prepared for it? Or have you! #amwriting by @fillpraycloset

— 2 —

Got two lay Dominican modules done

Life doesn’t stop for NaNo, so you have to plan accordingly. My lay Dominican chapter has outlined an aggressive plan for me to complete the Novice modules (two a month for the next few months) by August 2015 when we have the next annual retreat. I worked on them immediately after the last meeting (we meet the third Wednesday of every month). I even added some reminders to bring some props for my presentation. It’s just a rosary flip book I made a couple of years ago, and a little scriptural rosary book that I use. I have shared my module presentations here before when I was a Postulant, but haven’t – because – all the busy!

— 3 —

Took a break from activities at church

#7QT All the Preparations Are you participating in #NaNoWriMo this year? How have you prepared for it? Or have you! #amwriting by @fillpraycloset

I had to. I am making up for it, I think, by attending an extra mass a week (usually Tuesday nights). There was no way that I would be able to keep up with being on the RCIA team, cantoring and all the lay Dominican ramp up that’s been going on. I’ll be back, I promise.

— 4 —

Read all the books

#7QT All the Preparations Are you participating in #NaNoWriMo this year? How have you prepared for it? Or have you! #amwriting by @fillpraycloset

I visited the library and killed my Kindle when I thought I might even try to participate in this event. I read books from authors whose genres loosely matched mine, as well as books that I thought could teach me how to read like a writer and write like a writer!

— 5 —

Added the NaNoWriMo web graphic to my Facebook profile, blog sidebar and begged all to join me, Mwahahahahaha!

#7QT All the Preparations Are you participating in #NaNoWriMo this year? How have you prepared for it? Or have you! #amwriting by @fillpraycloset

Because that just means business. I’m all about the public shaming accountability to keep me on my toes. I think my count for NaNoWriMo converters is up to 8 or 9 people – as in, I got them to join! The latest one to join the ranks is my accountability partner, Rhonda (who has a newly launched website that I  s-t-a-l-k  because it’s pretty, people. She had me at “an image and a word”).

— 6 —

Actually named my novel on my NaNoWriMo profile

It could change, just sayin’. I’m coming to find out that everything about writing your novel changes and that your novel isn’t really yours when you start to write it. For now, and since August, it’s been called The Future Promise. Come on! Let me hear a collective ‘ahhh’. How do I know I’m on the right track? Once I published my writing prayer post yesterday (what? You didn’t read it. Tsk.) I got these on my Facebook feed:
#7QT All the Preparations Are you participating in #NaNoWriMo this year? How have you prepared for it? Or have you! #amwriting by @fillpraycloset

#7QT All the Preparations Are you participating in #NaNoWriMo this year? How have you prepared for it? Or have you! #amwriting by @fillpraycloset

And because I love you, here’s a hint on what it could be about. When I drive to work, I listen to the Morning Prayer in the car, I’ve told you that. Well, I heard this a couple of days ago and almost lost it (in a good way):

From Psalm 81

But my people did not heed my voice
and Israel would not obey,
so I left them in their stubbornness of heart
to follow their own designs.

And that’s what it’s about! BOOM.

— 7 —

I made a conscious effort to slow my roll on social media. 

#7QT All the Preparations Are you participating in #NaNoWriMo this year? How have you prepared for it? Or have you! #amwriting by @fillpraycloset

Now, I love social media. We all know this as evidenced by the three part m-e-g-a post I wrote for Katie Cross’ website. But, I knew that I wouldn’t be as active in November and didn’t want there to be a significant drop off, so I scaled it back slowly. Did anyone notice? Probably not, it was more for me anyway! And that’s the whole point of NaNoWriMo!

How about you? Are any of you doing this 50,000 word jaunt? Give me all the words of wisdom! I don’t know if I’ll be writing #7QTs or taking a break, if I’ll blog, or what. But I will be writing!! Here’s hoping that I write faster than my characters talk. Chatty Cathy’s, all of them.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

That’s OK Write Anyway, a Prayer

I’m all about my hybrid niche of faith and writing here on my blog, as you know. This morning, I was sitting on the edge of the tub wishing the needles on my clock would stop moving. Time slowed just enough for me to come up with a prayer. That’s right. A prayer.

I’ve mentioned that I will be participating in NaNoWriMo in November. I’ve been planning and planning since August when just last month, the entire story changed and I’ve been so upset about it, I haven’t done any more planning. Sure, I think about what I’m going to write, and what genre it should fall under. But, even that has troubled me. It’s spiritual in nature, but there’s a lot of fantasy. When I looked that up I got J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. So naturally, self doubt crawled in and said “*@&%!@ please, there’s no way you’re anything like them” So, I’ve been at an impasse, unable to write, or plan, or blog, or anything.

My story is about a man on a mission to fix things, because when he dies, he finds out that, well. I don’t want to give it away. It may upset you, and I don’t know how it ends. When I see where he’s going in my mind, it’s just mist. All mist, much like the mist that I see in the morning as I drive to work, covering the valley. I feel like I can’t know until I write it, and it’s not November yet. I know this may make no sense to you.

I mentioned that I was experiencing some spiritual dryness in my prayer life so I’ve been hanging out with Bl. Mother Teresa. I mean, we are thick as thieves now. You know the prayer that was found written on her walls in her home for children in Calcutta? That was the inspiration for my prayer that I will print and hang up at my desk at home.

#Write Anyway, A #Prayer for #NaNoWriMo inspired by Bl. Mother Teresa #amwriting

People will say that writing a novel is ludicrous because you’re 36, a mom, have a day job, are married, don’t have any formal writing education, etc. etc.
That’s ok. Write anyway.

If you are disciplined with your time in November and no one understands that you can’t make Friday night bowling.
That’s ok. Write anyway.

If you weren’t disciplined with your time in October and have absolutely nothing prepared, or if your antagonist hijacked your whole story, but he’s actually right and good, and now you’re starting over.
That’s ok. Write anyway.

If you are successful and hit that 50,000 word mark but are scared to death about what to do next because everyone assumes the “money is coming”; you know, because publishing is just that easy.
That’s ok. Write anyway.

If you are honest and sincere, and it just so happens that your mother becomes the Annie Wilkes in Misery for your story.
That’s ok. Write anyway.

What you spend all month creating, could be mostly crap – because this is your first time.
That’s ok. Write anyway.

If you’re freaking out that there will be too much of you on the page.
That’s ok. Write anyway.

If you find that the high you get from writing and creating all the things, makes some say you’re “not a real writer” (whatever that means).
That’s ok. Write anyway.

If you get to your computer and stare, and stare, and stare because you have no idea what to write and that cursor is blinking back at you, steadily and with no sympathy at all for the vertigo that’s about to come,
That’s ok. Write (character sketches, world building, future scenes, you get the picture) anyway.

If you’re worried that you may not blog as much, and readers will “forget you” as evidenced by the stats you say you don’t check, but secretly stalk.
That’s ok. Write anyway.

What you write today, will absolutely be forgotten by you tomorrow because there’s no time to edit.
That’s ok. Write anyway.

If you worry that your kids will miss you because you’re spending time writing, remember the times you overheard them praying that they hope you write the best novel ever.
That’s ok. Write anyway (they’re cheering for you).

Give the best you have, knowing that it will never be enough (because how much can one person read!).
That’s ok. Write (your best) anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God and the black and white of the page.  It was never between you and them (the naysayers, including your nasty inner editor) anyway.

So, I’ll be writing anyway, every day in November. Thanks Bl. Mother Teresa.

#7QT All the Search Terms

This week, my #7QT are going to be SO quick, you may not even recognize me as the person writing them. It’s been a super busy week. The hubby returned from his trip to Poland yesterday. This means that I was #allthethings for 10 days. I’m pooped. BUT, I was still writing.

I wrote a series for the illustrious author, Katie Cross on social media. In three posts, I tackled niches and groups, Instagram, and Twitter so if you need a boost on any of those social media platforms, head there! I also interviewed a novelist turned publisher this week, Ericka Clay. You don’t want to miss that – she’s looking for submissions! Finally, I shared a bit about a Dominican Blessed yesterday in my monthly cross post with Tiffany on saints. Busy much? Yeah! So when this week’s #7QT fell in my lap, I cradled and cuddled it like a teddy bear, or a sequin, your choice.

On with our show – be warned, you may choke on your beverage.

In my little tribe group, my friend Jen noted the silly search terms used to get to her blog.

#7QT All the Search Terms by @fillpraycloset #searchterms #funny #bloggingWell, I shared just a few from this last quarter, and had them all in stitches. Because I love to share, I thought – you guys needed to get in on this too. I present to you, the latest search terms to get to my blog, with commentary from me.

#7QT All the Search Terms by @fillpraycloset #searchterms #funny #blogging

— 1 —

“my filling is very sad”

And for that I am so very sorry. What are you filled with? Vegetables? Maybe some brussel sprouts? How about we change that to Bavarian creme? Jello? Whatever it is, I do hope there’s a donut in there somewhere.


— 2 —

“prayers for bowling”

Um, really? Ok, let’s see, quick search on Google says, that I can’t believe I’m searching for this  “Many legends ascribe thunder and lightning to some activity of Saint Peter in Heaven (usually bowling).” Thanks, now there’s more of this search term for other blogs.


— 3 —

“real vs fake pencils”

Who needs…Wait. Fake pencils? What are they made of? Pixie dust and unicorn powder? I.can’t.even.

— 4 —

“fleeting glimpses of the fleeting”

I wonder if they saw anything. Ha! This has to be in relation to the book review I did for Fleeting Glimpses of the Silly, Sentimental and Sublime by Michael Seagriff, O.P.


— 5 —

“sometimes you mean friend”

Now this can be read two ways: “sometimes you mean friend” or “sometimes, you mean friend”. Either way, this friend thing ain’t working out for ya. Time to move on!

— 6 —

“hot latina christina arms tattooed nude”

Thanks whoever you are, but you spelled my name wrong. Secondly, just because I am in my late thirties doesn’t mean I am going through the ‘pause, just yet. Some people. I won’t even talk about the nude, unless it’s my favorite new nude lipstick, Maybelline Color Whispers in “Bare to Be Bold”. Take that!

— 7 —

And this last one, is suggestive. I debated on whether or not I should share it, but when I saw it, I fell.out.of.my.chair. So, if you have delicate sensibilities, please move on to another post.

Did they leave?

No. We have a couple more peeps that are gathering their things…






The best/most provocative/OMGOODNESS search term entered to get to this little blog was:

“i want to be filling you” 

My response? NO COMMENT. Eiw. But please, if you have a blog, share an off the wall search term or two? I don’t want to be alone here (and know that I’m not!).

If your curiosity won, and you need something to make you feel better, have a look at this cake I baked last night. Because surely, this person meant cake frosting.

#7QT All the Search Terms by @fillpraycloset #searchterms #funny #blogging

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Church Triumphant: Bl. Terrence Albert O’Brien

Today is our saint day In case you missed the last few installments, head there and have a look!

Tiffany at Life of a Catholic Librarian, is blogging about Pope St. John Paul II and I am taking a Dominican saint (of course!) with Bl. Terrence Albert O’Brien, a timely saint for the upcoming Solemnity of All Saints. Please head over for her installment.

You may be wondering why I chose this Blessed. There is a connection to Tiffany’s saint. In 1992, then Pope John Paul II beatified 17 Irish martyrs, two of which were Dominican, with Bl. Terrence Albert O’Brien being one of them. Let’s dig in…

Church Triumphant: Bl. Terrence Albert O'Brien #OP #catholic #irishmartyr
Stained glass of Emly Parish “The Window of the Saints in St. Ailbe’s Church. Featured are, Bl. Terence Albert O’Brien, St. Patrick, St. Ailbe, St. Bridget, Bl. Dermot O’Hurley.”

Bl. Terrence Albert O’Brien’s was born in Limerick in 1600 taking the name “Albert” for the Dominican saint St. Albert the Great. He is also known as Toirdhealbhach Albert Ó Briain. He was raised by his mother and an aged priest. No doubt that’s where he got the first stirrings of devoting himself to God. Later, he reached out to his uncle, already a prior in the Dominican Convent of Limerick, and was soon received into the Friars Preachers. When he turned 20, he went to the Dominican School of Toledo where he spent 8 years studying and was ordained. He was then sent back to Limerick to assist his Dominican brothers in mission and lived with them for 15 years. During this time, he was elected prior of his convent in Limerick. In 1647, he was made Bishop of Emly. Throughout this time, there was political upset (especially for the Franciscans who were, at the time, more politically engaged).

In 1651, Ireton, an English general in the Parliamentary army during the English Civil War, took over his town of Limerick. It’s recorded that 8,000 people died of a “pestilence” during this time as well and where the missionaries of St. Vincent de Paul attended to the sick and dying.  On October 27th of that year, the town was compelled to surrender to Ireton. Bl. Terrence Albert O’Brien knew what was coming, as 24 others were arrested, and so he returned to where the sick were, to spend whatever time he had left helping the sick. Officers eventually found him and Ireton informed him he would be court-martialed and imprisoned until his sentence (read DEATH!) was to be pronounced because he refused to accept the Crown than to renounce his Catholic faith. What did he ask for? His confessor. BOOM.

According to The Acts of the General Chapter in 1656 stated that, “he went with joy to the place of execution and there with a serene countenance, turning to his Catholic friends, who stood in the crowd inconsolable and weeping.” Once he arrived at the gallows, he gave his own final testament and prayer.

Jesus despised the shame for me upon the Cross, and God forbid but I should despise the shame for him upon the Gallows….I am not in love with this passage through the Red Sea, for I have the weakness and infirmity of flesh and blood in me, and I have prayed as my Savior taught me, and exampled me: ut transiret calix ista, that this cup might pass away from me; but since it is not, that my will may, his will be done; I shall most willingly drink of it as deep as he pleases, and enter into this Sea, and I pass through it, in the way that he shall be pleased to lead me.

He was martyred on the Vigil of All Saints Day. In Lives of the Irish Martyrs and Confessors  it states that Bl. Terrence Albert O’Brien “summoned” Ireton to answer for his crimes and just 18 days after O’Brien’s martyrdom, he was “seized with the plague” and died 16 days after that. I was also able to find Bl. Terrence Albert O’Brien’s execution speech in The Harleian Miscellany, Or, A Collection of Scarce, Curious, and Entertaining Pamphlets and Tracts

Church Triumphant: Bl. Terrence Albert O'Brien #OP #catholic #irishmartyr‘O Lord, I beseech Thee, give grace of repentance to all people that have a thirst for blood; but if they will not repent, then scatter their devices so, and such as are, or shall be, contrary to: the glory of Thy great Name, the truth and sincerity of the ancient Catholic religion, the establishing of the Royal Posterity in their just rights and liberties, the preservation of this poor Church in her truth, peace, and patrimony; and the settlement of this distracted and distressed people under their ancient laws and in their native liberties.

‘And when Thou hast done this in mere mercy for them, O Lord, fill their hearts with thankfulness and with religious dutiful obedience to Thee and Thy Commandments, all their days.

‘So Amen, Lord Jesus; and I beseech Thee receive my soul to mercy.’

When he had finished his prayer, he took his leave of some friends there present, saying, “God’s blessing and His mercy be upon you all;” and so went up to the ladder, where he again prayed as followeth.

‘Lord, I am coming as fast as I can. I know I must pass through the shadow of death before I can come to see Thee, but it is but “umbra mortis”, a mere shadow of death, a little darkness upon nature. But Thou, by Thy merits and Passion, hast broke the jaws of death. So Lord, receive my soul, and have mercy upon me.’

No sooner had he uttered these expressions, but immediately he was turned off the ladder.

Bl. Terrence Albert O’Brien, pray for us.

Head over and read Tiffany’s post all about Pope St. John Paul II.