Wednesday, November 10, 2010


"My God hath sent his angel, 
and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me."
It's high time for a short shout-out to just SOME of the people who have helped, supported, encouraged and served as exemplars for Shirt of Flame.

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 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.  


  1. You're all right in my book Heather (even though I haven't written one!).

  2. Even though I had read about you a couple of years ago on (which seems to be defunct now) I really discovered you through Jennifer F. So, she should get the credit for bringing me here. I love your blog, I love your books and I really appreciate your thoughts and insights.
    I echo Frank, you're all right...

  3. Heather ,

    This video is brilliant for me because I would never have been able to go to the actual event:
    a) because I could not afford it and b)because I live in the UK.

    So muchas gracias.

  4. You've given us so much here, Heather. And given other onliners to us, such as DJ of Payingattentiontothesky, whom I'd probably never encountered were it not for you.

  5. omg, yes, Derek Jeter of Paying Attention to the Sky and all his incredible stuff on Simone Weil...and much else..he is a treasure...

  6. Well-the large sums of cash are not possible,
    Sorry Heather, but I can do the rest. It's a honest, terrific blog and it does the job without whining/self-centered-ness.

  7. Hi Heather, I read your book Redeemed last year and really resonated with everything you have said. You have probably heard this a million times but your guts inspire me. I'm young and still in the middle of figuring myself out. I hope I can follow the same authentic path you have taken and keep my guts while I'm at it.

  8. I love your blog Heather, I found it after I read both your books, 'Redeemed' & 'Parched'. I'm a huge fan and keep up with your blog on a regular basis- I love how you put into words so often how I think & feel about stuff. Be encouraged, your doing a great job!!!

  9. I think I saw you linked on Conversion Diary and I just love an ex-lawyer, ex-drunk, Catholic convert! I check in regularly now. Keep it up!

  10. Oh to make something of beauty out of our humble, wayward lives!...many thanks for the support and let's continue to try to shore each other up!...

  11. Another who came here from Conversion Diary. I can't tell you how many people I have told about your writing in the past two weeks: my stepdaughter who is a struggling writer in L.A., my son who is a young Catholic convert in NYC, his friend who recently moved to a vineyard somewhere north of Santa Barbara. Plus, I'm halfway through "Parched". I love your writing. I'm in RCIA this year and am surrounded by ex-drunks (and some not yet ex-) in my life so your words ring very true. Thank you.

  12. Hi Heather...weirdly enough, I have never seen this post before. So, this is a very belated "You're welcome" and you have done waaaayyyyyy more for me than I could ever say. So, thank YOU.


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