I was scared of this book. It arrived, fresh and lovely…and thick. I thought, “Oh, I will never find time for this. I am already so busy with work, with children, with church, with life…” The book continued to sit at my desk, and I continued to avoid it. Then, things got worse.
Had I known, when I received it a year ago, what all Elissa’s message would have entailed, I’d have said yes on the spot, without thinking about it for a few days.
One morning earlier this week, I woke up to four or five messages from new readers who had some positive things to say about my work at Ancient Faith, specifically my book, Time and Despondency: Regaining the Present in Faith and Life. There was nothing excessive about these notes–they were polite and positive and encouraging, by all accounts just the kind of thing an author likes to receive from time to time.…
Reflection questions abound in this book, and are designed for couples to discuss together in order to learn more about (and from) one another. Questions such as “What does agape love mean?” or “In what ways is your home like the Church?” serve as thought-provoking prompts on the meaning of marriage, and can serve as a constant source of conversation for couples new and experienced.
When I was 25 years old, I was working full-time as a Montessori assistant in a Kindergarten classroom. During morning circle time, I would take little notes on our scrap paper about what the head teacher was sharing with the 5-7 year olds. No holds barred, this teacher, a life-long lover of learning, poured into these children rich details about complex ideas and precise nomenclature. I love the Montessori concept of the…
Sometimes, the most powerful and effective books are the ones that are short, simple, and full of practical ideas.
Sometimes a person’s life and work is based around the curiosities of their childhood. Those moments of intrigue and wonder, however small in scope they may be, can shape an entire life.
To gain a fuller perspective of what’s out there, I’ve started a survey entitled “What does it mean to be an Orthodox Christian writer?” It begins with demographic questions and then moves into genre- and writing-specific sections. It also inquires into participants’ views on the intersection(s) between writing and Orthodox faith or spiritual disciplines. There are no right or wrong answers; the purpose is to gain a bigger picture of what’s out there.
There are at least hints that there is meaning and purpose to our lives, and these come in flashes that indicate there is a reason, a purpose to our existence. I’ve called these “everyday” because they happen to ordinary people all the time, but “wonders” because they clearly seem too extraordinary to be just coincidences, though they may fall short of being characterized as “miracles.”
During this Lenten season, we are all engaged in spiritual struggle of one kind or another, and it seems a good moment to share what I’ve learned in the last five years about the intersection of creativity, struggle, and media publishing. With this goal, I’ve created a list of five hard lessons we all seem to encounter on our way to producing high-quality books and podcasts. If you have already been published, this list will be familiar. If you are still trying to be published, it may be even more familiar! I pray it will be helpful, no matter which side of that fence you occupy.