Sunday, October 21, 2012

Writing Project, Blogging, and All Saints

Have you wondered where I have been lately?  BUSY, BUSY.  I have so much I want to blog about, but very little time.  And now, I will be posting less often for a while.  Not sure how long this blogging slow down will be.  Here’s why: I have a new writing project!

Actually, it is an update to an old poetry manuscript.  You see, last week, I read at the Houston Poetry Fest.  I had a great time: listening to other poets, meeting those poets, reading my own work, and feeling like I was part of a poetry community again.  One of the poets I met there is an editor at a small independent Texas poetry press.  He has asked me to submit my full length poetry manuscript to him for publication consideration.

Have I mentioned before how nurturing, welcoming, and friendly small presses can be?  This is not the first time I have encountered a poetry editor who is willing to take a chance on my work and is offering a generous amount of time to read and consider my manuscript, knowing little or nothing about it.  I was fortunate enough to encounter the same generosity last year with Maria at Mouthfeel Press after a friend suggested I send a chapbook manuscript there.

You are probably wondering: Elisa, didn’t you just publish a book?  How did you find time to write another one already (you do have limited writing time after all)?  I did just publish a chapbook, which is a small book of poems, usually about 14 – 30 pages long, with a limited press run.  The editor I just met is interested in a full length volume of poetry, which is at a minimum 48 pages long, and usually has a larger print run (meaning the publisher prints more copies and keeps the book in stock for a longer time).  Often poets will include poems from their chapbooks in their full length books, so a chapbook is like a preview of a longer book.  You can learn more about chapbooks at my friend Katie’s blog, here.

So, I have not actually written a whole new manuscript.  I have an old manuscript that I started revising, updating, and reordering a few years ago.  But, I never finished doing that after I had my second child.  That is what I will be working on a few minutes at a time for the next couple of months.  When I put together the chapbook manuscript last year, I included some of the poems from this full length book, and some from a second full length book manuscript (still mostly unwritten, sigh).  I plan to use the moments I previously spent writing blog posts to work on this book so I can send it to the patiently waiting editor.

New Writing Project Means Fewer Blog Posts.

I hope you will also patiently wait for me to rev up the blogging again after I complete the manuscript.  I do plan to post now and then because I will need some time away from the book manuscript to gain perspective.  Also, I have promised to write about so many things.  For example, I really hope to write Part 2 of the Dual Language Learning post soon.  Plus, I’ll be reading and responding (although slowly) to your comments, and making a few tweaks to the sidebars.

In the meantime, I leave you the link to last year’s post about All Saints Day, where I describe an easy way to put together saint costumes, and different ways we have made saint images to learn and play with.  This year, we are working on costumes for Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, who was canonized today, and Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Read about how we put together saint costumes, and find links to other costume ideas and games here.   

You can see my other posts about saints here.

You will always find me linked at The Catholic Bloggers Network Monthly Round up.

Karri at My Life’s a Treasure hosts a weekly My Favorite Things Link up, and I am linking this post there.

Hazel at Tell Me a Story hosts a weekly True Stories Link up, so I am linking there too.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Tabletop Rosary

Back in April, we started a tabletop shrine to Our Lady in the living room.  In addition to serving as a constant reminder to pray, the shrine keeps clutter off the table, and my children enjoy changing the arrangement of the items (especially the flowers), including changing out the Mary statue (we have a handful of them).  We have even on occasion arranged the flowers in the shape of a rosary.

In the photo above, we used some plastic flowers, crocheted flowers (they help children to keep count of the Hail Mary prayers while saying the rosary), and a cross made from grass.  This particular version has more than a decade of flowers, but that could easily be adjusted; it serves more as a reminder to pray. 

You can also see my oldest likes to draw; the tabletop above includes her picture of The Assumption.  She draws rosaries sometimes; the one pictured below has hung on our refrigerator and laid on the table (tape keeps it from blowing away when we pass by).  

I have tried many different activities to grow my children’s interest in praying the rosary.  This is just one way I hope to remind them of the power of praying the rosary during the month of October, but especially when we celebrate Our Lady of the Rosary this Sunday.  

One of the activities I plan to do all month is to have them use different objects to represent a decade of the rosary on the table or on paper as a prelude to our prayer.  I’m thinking about giving them beads, small toys, pasta, dried beans, square letter tiles, even checkers!  You can read about a visual marker I made to help with this idea here.

I think we may also use magnets to create a rosary image on the refrigerator or dishwasher.  What ideas do you have for letting children “build” a rosary decade to display?

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