Back to Earth

I’m writing this from several thousand feet over the State of Georgia, on my way back to DC after the 2015 Catholic New Media Celebration (CNMC). No, I am not sporting a cape and tights as I do so. While this will not be a particularly lengthy post, it is an important one for me, in that it marks my return to regular blogging following the past two months of hiatus. And before continuing I want to once again thank all of my readers for their gracious expressions of kindness following the death of my Mother.

There will be some fairly substantial changes afoot here in the coming months. I cannot yet provide a timetable, but I would ask that you keep your eyes peeled so that, as the saying goes, you will not find yourselves caught asleep at the switch. These changes should allow those of you who appreciate reading my fitful scribblings to do so in a better-framed context. My goal is to build upon the last substantial changes I made two years ago, in order to make the perusal of my writing a more user-friendly experience with respect to content, design, and accessibility.

For those of you who have never attended, I should explain that the CNMC is the perfect venue for a media producer looking to step up his game or tweak what he is already producing. It was refreshing to be encouraged to examine my content with a more critical – if not to say jaundiced, á la (Florence) King – eye. Even if, as it turned out, some of the presenters happened to make digs at me during their presentations. You know who you are (Greg Willits and Maria Johnson), and you’re going on a list.

While there was a great deal to process coming out of this CNMC, both personally and professionally, perhaps the most important takeaway was the notion that it’s time to pick up and start again where I had left off: a bit sadder, but hopefully also a bit wiser than I was before I stopped. I hope that your gracious patronage and engagement, gentle reader, will continue as it has lo these (nearly 7) years now. God bless you!


Somewhere Over Georgia

Announcing the Giveaway Winner (And More of You to Come!)

Thanks to all of you who read my recent post on Scott Hahn’s new book, Angels and Saints from Image publishing as part of the blog tour celebrating the publication of his latest volume, and to the dozens of you who entered the giveaway contest for a free copy of the book. I’m pleased to announce that the winner is Mike O’Connor, of Orland Park, Illinois!  Thanks for reading the blog, Mike, and hope you enjoy the book, which will be wending its way to you soon!

If you missed out on this particular giveaway, do not fret.  Next week, I’ll be reviewing another new book – and yes, there will be another chance for you to win a free copy via a giveaway on the blog.  This time we’ll be taking a look at The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home, by David Clayton and Leila Marie Lawler, recently published by Sophia Institute Press.  It’s a great look at how to make your house a place of prayer, something which many of us find difficult to do.

And if you end up missing out on THAT giveaway, I’ll have another one coming up the following week!  On that occasion the subject will be a new CD release from the world of popular classical music, which I think you will enjoy.  So be sure to stay tuned for more details.

I love having the chance to share good work with my readers, particularly ones that speak to our culture, whether Catholic or secular.  So if you’re an author or publisher with a book, film, or CD that you’d like me to take a look at for a possible review on the blog, please feel free to use the Contact tab to get in touch.  I’m happy to help out if you have a good product that you want to share with a wider audience.

Most importantly however, thank you again, gentle reader, for your patronage of this blog, which for me is really the prize to be won; I greatly appreciate your continued support of what I do here!

Prague Nike

Statue known as “The Golden Muse”, Prague

Results Are In: More Capes, No Pancakes

Thanks to everyone who participated in this week’s poll, regarding what to put in the new Photos section of this site.

The three most popular vote-getters were “Pictures of Objects the Author Likes”, “Pictures of Places the Author Has Visited”, and a fill-in “Other”, which I’ll explain in a moment.  As to objects I like, I probably could have defined that better.  Argyle socks, for example: would you really want to see my extensive sock collection, rivalled only by that of President George H.W. Bush?  And as far as places are concerned, right now I’m not traveling a whole lot, but perhaps that could be built up over time.

Among the “Other” category entries, I left a blank space for people to offer suggestions.  Quite a few want to see more comic pics of yours truly dressed up as “Superman Around the House”, a series of photos I did on Twitter last year.  Although that was a fun project, it was also time-consuming. Using a self-timer to take a dozen or more pictures until one without the top of my head being cut off appeared was not the easiest thing in the world.  However I’ll consider it, provided I can find a photographer friend to do it for free [hint, hint.]

Several very good suggestions I received involved the art I often feature in the posts.  Many of you like the images I choose to illustrate the posts on the blog, particularly if they are paintings, sculptures, etc. that you have never seen previously.  Since that ties in nicely with the idea of this project serving as a tool to encourage you to go out and learn more about Western culture, I’ll run with it.  I’m going to choose one image from each week’s posts, and place it in a section on the Photos page, along with title and description information, and link that back to the original post in which it featured. That way, you can either enjoy the image on its own, or see the post it came from if you happen to have missed it.

Other suggestions I received were less helpful.  Some were admittedly amusing, e.g., “bunnies with pancakes on their heads”.  And apparently no one wants to see pictures of “Grumpy Cat”, although I can’t promise I’ll always stay meme-free.

In any case, thanks again for your votes, your readership, and support – and remember that if you have any suggestions on making this site better, please feel free to use the Contact form any time.

Oolong Bunny Pancake Head

Oolang’s one and only appearance on this site