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Entries Close on 1764 Debut Issue

Hey guys and gals, as you may recall, I launched a literary journal (announcement) with the St. Louis Writers Guild and July 31st was the deadline for entries.

Over the past week, I’ve organized all of the qualifying entries by category and submitted them to the selection committee for consideration. Now begins the process of reading the entries and finding the best fits for our debut publication.

As a reader, what I’ll be looking for is quality writing, original voices, writing that struck an emotional chord in me (because hopefully it’ll do the same for our readers). And if it has a chunkier word count, so much the better. We have a literary journal to fill!

Thank you in advance to everyone who submitted for our debut issue (if you’re reading this post). Keep an eye on this space for more updates. For more information on 1764, see our website at

2018 Newsletter #3

Here’s seven updates as to what’s been going on in my life over the past week.

Estimated reading time: < 7 minutes.

I’ve been…

Watching: Luke Cage SS02. I liked it better than its first season, and better than The Defenders or Iron Fist. I still think that Jessica Jones and Daredevil have stronger antagonists.

Listening to: Lauren Daigle’s new hit single, “You Say”. I love how real Daigle gets with her lyrics. She just launched the lyric video this week too so if you’re a mega-fan, you can begin memorizing the lines (lyric video here).

Eating: the most amazing British confection I’ve never heard of before — a Victoria sandwich (for the uninitiated like me, it’s buttercream frosting and strawberry preserves sandwiched between layers of sponge cake). Next time, I’ll take photos to share.

Visiting: a British-themed tea house that serves you generous portions (see above comment about food) and tea by the pot. I want to go back next time on a rainy day, snag a seat by a window early, and bring a book. Doesn’t that just sound cozy? (Link here)

InstaBrowsing: photos of my nieces and nephews. What can I say? I miss my fam. They’re growing up so fast and I don’t see them as often as I’d like but at least with Insta, I can see those small moments of ice cream smiles, muddy feet, and messy crafts that make up a young child’s summer days.

App Download: I was planning this week on downloading a new app that would allow me to write text on images (like the featured photo of this post) and then discovered that iPhone has a built in feature that already allows you to do that. It’s called “Markup” and it’s buried in the Photo Editor. Expect to see me playing with text on graphics here in the future.

Practicing: Accountability. I’ve joined a local small group and we meet weekly with God, and each other, to share what we’re taking away from the Bible. It’s a relatively close-knit circle and learning from each other has been awesome. It’s also a good way to talk about our struggles and I’ve found this particularly helpful this week. Honesty matters.

So that’s a peek at my week, and I’ll be posting soon about how the literary journal is going, the one I blogged about earlier this summer. Stay tuned and keep reaching higher!

2018 Newsletter #2

Here’s seven updates as to what’s been going on in my life over the past week.

Estimated reading time: < 7 minutes.

I’ve been…

Watching: Probably more Netflix than I ought. I need to spend more time reading.

Listening to: I’ve started listening to Podcasts on my phone. I’ve found several great lectures online by Fr. Timothy Gallagher (I’ve blogged about him here before), and it’s nice to see what else he’s been working on.

Eating: the most amazing confection I’ve never heard of before, a Victoria sandwich; and scones the size of a hamburger!!! Both available from a little tea shop (British-themed) in our part of the city. The tea was quite good too. I’m looking forward to going back.

Visiting: A new (to me) park down by the riverfront. We went for an evening event but I’d love to go back and stroll along the riverside paths. The haze around the river valley is lovely to behold.

InstaBrowsing: Feminine Reverence, and similar. I also have been looking at Pinterest for ideas on making a homemade shrine or crèche.

App Download: Magnificat. For the month of August, I’m experimenting with reading the morning prayers from the app instead of the book we get in the mail. I’m hoping to free up the physical copy to share it more easily with other members of our household.

Practicing: Developing patience and slowly building up my pain tolerance threshold. Too personal to share more details right now.

Announcing Issue #85

in-places-hidden-tracie-petersonI’m delighted to announce that the August 2018 reviews for The Historical Novel Society are now available online. Check out the full reviews (and great articles) at: The Historical Novel Society. You can find the print views in Issue #85 of the Historical Novel Review (HNR).

For this issue of HNR, I have one review appearing in print and online, In Places Hidden by Tracie Peterson.  This is my first time reading Ms. Peterson’s work and I really liked this new series she’s releasing.

I hope you enjoy my review of her work and the many other fine reviews available. May you find plenty of new favorites! Remember to please support authors by buying authorized print and digital versions of their books.

2018 Newsletter #1

Thanks for checking out my blog today. It’s often easier to write than it is to phone or email friends, family and followers individually, so… here’s my attempt at keeping in touch despite the vagaries of life.

Mississippi River Bluffs, Carondelet. Private album.

To that end, here’s seven updates as to what’s been going on in my life over the past week.

Estimated reading time: < 7 minutes.

I’ve been…

Watching: Good Morning Call SS01 and SS02; Nailed It; Sugar Rush; Real Genius (for the nostalgia); Ready Player One.

Japanese soaps are one of my favorite things to watch on Netflix because I like the formality of the culture and some of the relationship values which feel lost in Western culture (I.e. it’s clean because good girls don’t fornicate, to put it bluntly). With this manga-based soap in particular, the romance was sweet and clean, both of which I appreciate.

I also enjoy cooking competitions. Neither of these two really captured the human element in the way that MasterChef or The Great British Baking Show does.

Listening to: Lauren Daigle’s new single, “You Say”; Sensus Fidelium on YouTube.

I am about the furthest thing from being boho, like Lauren Daigle, but I do like her sound which is sort of deep like Adele and soulful and honest.

Fr. Ripperger on Sensus Fidelium (amongst other priests) has great audio lectures that I tend to transcribe for my personal spiritual growth. Can’t recommend the channel highly enough really.

Eating: Chocolate chip cookie dough from The Cookie Dough Cafe (product in stores); Carondelet Diner.

All I can say is wow…do they do cookie dough house deliveries?

Visiting: the Sunken Cities exhibit (see my review here). Short story is, it was great. I recommend it.

InstaBrowsing: antique finds; British cottages; ocean sunsets; vintage typewriters.

As I get older, I’m learning that humans are paradoxical and that’s okay. I may never be a vintage typewriter collector like Tom Hanks is, but I do really like his app, Hanx, which leads me into my next point.

App download: Hanx Writer, which lets you pretend you’ve got a stylish old typewriter that works.

Free to download and certain brands of typewriter upgrades are available, for $$$. I started my first MS on a typewriter so I’ll always have a fondness for the stubborn things.

Practicing: a new spiritual exercise called ‘lectio divina’; and I got enrolled in the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel.

I want to develop a more contemplative, simplistic life so I’m trying to learn about new-to-me techniques that Catholics have had available to them for (in some cases) centuries. Eventually this may also mean less time with technology but we’ll see where the Lord leads.

So there you have it, 7 days, 7 updates, and in less than 7 minutes. Comments always welcomed below. Let me know if you are fast readers and I’ll try to expound more on each point next week. God bless, have a great week ahead, and remember, keep reaching higher.

Art Days 01: Egyptian Archaeology

Recently, my family and I had the opportunity to see the underwater archaeological exhibit, Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds. The exhibit, which is self-paced, featured a number of artifacts recovered from the bottom of the Mediterranean, off the coast of the Nile Delta, in a city comparable to the mythology of Atlantis.

Private album

This stele is an example of one of the treasures recovered and holds a rich history behind those hieroglyphs which reveals that this lost city, Heracleion, was a major port in Ancient Egypt, both for trade, for taxes, and as a religious center. The exhibit had an optional film (1 hour) which was a wonderful overview of the excavation process by Franck Goddio and his team in Aboukir Bay, Egypt.

One of my favorite pieces from the collection was this statue:

Private album

Nudity, or partial nudity, seemed to be a unifying factor amongst multiple statues in the exhibit, showing the exemplary idealization of the feminine form, but what I found particularly fascinating about this statue is the artistic mastery of depicting sheer fabric out of the stone. This strategy, a particular favorite of mine, can be seen elsewhere in ancient art, i.e. Giovanni Strazza’s The Veiled Virgin.

If you have the chance to visit any of the current or upcoming cities already slated to host this exhibit, I do recommend it.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds
March 25, 2018–September 9, 2018
Saint Louis Art Museum
St. Louis, Missouri

Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds
November 4, 2018–April 14, 2019
Minneapolis Institute of Art
Minneapolis, Minnesota

St. Louis was the first North American city to host this exhibit so keep an eye out for upcoming cities later in 2019 and beyond.