PETER PAUL RUBENS
DANIEL IN THE LION'S DEN, c. 1615
"My God hath sent his angel,
and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me."
Jennifer Fulwiler, at that time an accomplished but I believe still fledging writer, first contacted me a couple of years ago. I dispensed some of my deep writerly wisdom after which she started a blog called Conversion Diary that promptly gained a huge following and now has zillions of readers. Seeing my own stumbling attempt to start my own blog, she recently got in touch, made time for a phone call (Jennifer has four children ranging in age from 18 months to 6 years), and gave me many extremely helpful pointers. She also very kindly linked me to her blog which I'm sure has been responsible for at least half my hits.
Deacon Greg Kandra of the faith-based cable TV show NET NY had me on his show and linked me to his also popular blog, The Deacon's Bench.
You may have noticed that my blog no longer looks like it was designed by a 5-year-old on crack. That's because someone besides me got his hand in. That would be photographer, web designer, writer, and runner extraordinaire Geoff Cordner (more on him later), who also designed a new homepage for my website.
My friend Ann Leary has been toiling away and writing scintillating posts for years. She was an inspiration, as was Mark Olmsted of The Trash Whisperer. And Amy Welborn, mother of five, with her Charlotte Was Both. And Kim Luisi, with Faith, Fiction, and Flannery. And the inimitable Barbara Nicolosi, with Church of the Masses.
But mostly I want to thank all of you who have read, written comments, anonymously checked in, and thereby encouraged me to disregard the roaring lions of melancholy and doubt who like to prowl about my own personal den and instead to proceed apace.
You may or may not want to plow through this hour-and-a-half long video of the November 1st panel for the USC Professional Writer's Program entitled "Faith and the Writer: Inspiration and Practice," but just in case, here it is.
The panelists were psychologist Justin Wood, a lovely man who studies chimps, the origins of knowledge, and Richard Dawkins; novelist and memoirist Mark Salzman (Iron and Silk, Lying Awake) (skeptic; was pleasantly surprised when he visited convent and Carmelite nun said her biggest struggle was doubt); Eric Lax (once had faith, now doesn't; Faith, Interrupted, biographies of Woody Allen and Paul Newman); and myself (tremulously asserting that in the end, "Love will reign").
More fun ahead...so feel free to subscribe (that little doohickey on the upper right), tell ALL your friends, tweet, honk, bray, link and/or send large sums of cash. THANK YOU EVERYBODY.