Cover Reveal and Award Nomination!

It’s been a crazy few months for me, both in real life and in my writing life. I’ve been working on a major revision of my newest novel in response to agent feedback. This is the first time I’ve tried to do such a thing on a tight turnaround and now I understand the stress…

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The Couple That Plays Together…

I’ve heard people say that wallpapering is a test of a marriage. I think they should try critiquing each other’s creative work. Christian has always been my earliest set of eyes on a piece of music, and unlike most people, he’s never felt inhibited about telling me exactly what’s wrong with it. In the early…

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Off Making Music

Item 1: Time plus focus = momentum, the anti-writer’s block. Item 2: I have neither time nor excessive amounts of focus. Net Result: I frequently feel a frustrating lack of inspiration when writing music, even though I feel more alive when I write music than with anything else I do. It is, perhaps, divine irony that…

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On Any Given Sunday….

On any given Sunday, you might be sitting in the front row at Mass, trying to look like a respectable family who actually has any business giving a presentation on faithful parenting later that afternoon, when your three-year-old flings himself to the floor and wails. And when asked what’s wrong, his response might be: “I’m…

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Adventures in Liturgy With A Musical Mom

Friday morning, I flew into church at 7:59 a.m. for 8:00 holy day Mass, trailing a widely-spaced gaggle of little ones–the last one wailing. With Christian out of town, I was single parenting, and it was also the last field trip day of the summer, with speech therapy thrown in for good measure. We’d left…

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Kids Who Write Songs, NPM memories, and other QTs

___1___ Let’s start with a story about this boy: Alex loves to rewrite songs. And oh lordy, sometimes it’s hard for an occasional songwriter to listen to it! Last night in the car, he decided to rewrite Rudolph with shades of the Lego movie: “Big Mr. Buz-niss MA-AN, had a bi-ig crane ro-BOT!” “ALEX!” I…

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Where I Spent Last Week, And What I Learned From It

I spent last week at a conference for church musicians. I want to blog about it this morning, but so far I have spent ten minutes sitting in front of the computer grasping for what to say. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. I can think of lots of things to say, but I can’t find…

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Applause In Church Is Not Always A Bad Thing

If there is one thing you can get both sides to agree on in the liturgy wars, it is that applause in church is a bad thing. I heard the argument made once that any time there is applause in church, it is a sign that the liturgy has been derailed. Applause is for performances;…

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We aren’t losing people because of worship. We’re losing them because we’re hypocrites.

There’s a blog post making the rounds right now about the dismal record of churches, both mega- and traditional, to retain their youth into adulthood. The author and all the commenters have their pet theories about why this is–the age-old argument between “worship isn’t relevant” (i.e. it’s too traditional) and “the worship is too contemporary”…

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A Ministry Manifesto

If you only ever share one post I write, this is the one. Because this is important. We need you. And yes, I mean you. You think you aren’t good enough to join the choir. You are. You say you’re tone deaf. You’re not. We’ve known a man who actually was…and he learned to sing.…

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