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MFA in Writing at Vermont College

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Burying Saints!

Two weeks ago we decided to put our house up for sale.  It has been a whirlwind ever since. 


Get an agent!

Clean the house!

Get storage unit!

Move excess household items to storage!

Meet with financial guy!

Clean the house again!

Open House!

Bury St. Joseph!

Wait… what… did that say bury St. Joseph?

That is correct; an old Catholic tradition states that when selling a home it is helpful to bury St. Joseph upside down, facing the street.   Once the sale is complete St. Joseph is dug up and displayed in a place of honor within the new home. 

Our house had not been on the market for no more than a few days when I received a package in the mail from my Aunt Laverne.  Inside was a statue of St. Joseph with burial and prayer instructions.  Thanks Aunt Laverne!

The very next day my wife and I dug a hole.

We gently buried St. Joseph upside down facing the street.


We said our prayers.

We expect an offer soon!

But while I am waiting for that offer I have decided to do a little research to see if there is a Patron Saint of Writers.  Guess what I found?

St. Francis de Sales!


That’s correct; St. Francis is the patron Saint of Writers.  

The story goes that St. Francis traveled through the mountains of Switzerland spreading the word of Catholicism.  However, Switzerland at the time was staunch Calvinists and refused to even open the door when St. Francis called.  So he took to writing them notes and sliding them under the door.  Soon he had converted 40,000 people to Catholicism and was appointed the Bishop of Geneva in 1602.

I have currently ordered every statue of St. Francis I can find on the internet.  I am tearing up the floorboards underneath my writing desk and plan to bury every single one of them face down directly underneath my computer.


Hey, I will take any help I can get!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Chasing My Story

I went home yesterday to visit my mother for mother’s day.  It was warm, the sun was shining and my Dad had the lawn furniture out to enjoy.  It was the first real summer day of the year and I took advantage of the day.  Boy did I ever take advantage of the day.

You see my sister also brought my niece and nephews home for the day as well.  What could be better than an afternoon in the sun with my nephews!

We played baseball!

We played soccer!

We played in the sandbox!

We had running races around the house!

We played more baseball!

We went to the local park where I was a monster and had to chase them up and down the slide!

We rode scooters up and down the street!

We searched for ants!

We played tag!

We sat for a moment! Just a moment!

Grandma blew bubbles and we chased them across the yard!

We watched cartoons for about thirty seconds!

We ate ice cream!

And we played more baseball!

It was a really great two hours spent with my nephews.  Quality time I will always remember… because my lower back will remind me for years to come.

Today I sat down for a relaxing day of writing.  But I ended up chasing my story all afternoon.   My characters were constantly running away from me and I could not seem to catch up to them.  They were always one step ahead of me.  I am worn out! 

What is their motivation?  What do they want?  What do they need?

I asked all the questions but there was no answer.  My characters simply ran all over the page, never tiring, exhausting me in the process.  Not even an ice cream break would calm these characters down. 

Oh well… nothing a good night’s sleep can’t cure.  I will be back to chase them around tomorrow!