Emily M. DeArdo

writer

the book

Seven Quick Takes--Writing Updates, Birthdays, A Wedding....

7 Quick Takes, family, writing, the bookEmily DeArdo4 Comments
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Linking up with Kelly!

-I-

If you missed it, my sister got married last week!

It was a beautiful day! I’ll have more about travel logistics up soon, as well as the second part of my April trip…..bad me, I know! I’m being a slacker blogger!



-II-

But I have a reason to be slacker blogger—it’s time for edits! Which means:


I got edits up to Chapter 11 (there are 15 main chapters, plus the prayer section, and the intro and preface, so 17 chapters and prayers) from my editor yesterday, so now it’s time to DIVE IN. So if it’s quiet around here, that’s why. Amuse yourselves by looking through the archives!

(Or buy Catholic 101! $5!)

-III-

So yes, I’ll be in the office, by Corgi corner, writing. :)

What is Corgi Corner?

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This. :)

It’s a Corgi Calendar that my friend Sarah sent me for my birthday, a card with a leaping corgi on the cover, and my Susan Branch Royal Corgi mug, because hello it’s THE BEST.

I fill the mug with tea, and I write. Corgi corner keeps me going!


-IV-

Happy First Day of Summer! It’s been so rainy here that when the sun is out I feel like Gollum:

It’s only going to be 75 today so not quite warm enough to swim, but warm enough to get outside and squint at the bright thing in the sky!

-v-

We’re hitting the big Birthday Stride in our family: Dad’s birthday was on Wednesday, my new brother in law’s is today, my mom’s is tomorrow, mom and dad’s anniversary (their fortieth!) is on the 30th, and that’s also my grandma’s 89th birthday.

WHEW!

-VI-

The trip to CO was our big trip of the summer so the rest of the summer is delightfully free. Of course I’m working on edits because they’re due before the Fourth of July, but after that, who knows what’s going to happen? Well, other than clinic in July—the big yearly testing date, with CTs and bone density scans—and then my fourteenth transplant anniversary on the 11th!

-VII-

I also need to update you about books I’m reading but we’ll do that later…..I’ll add it to my blog list. In the meantime, tell me what you’re reading! I’m always looking for new titles to pick up!

Seven Quick Takes--the book has a title, the Jane Re-Read, and summer kicks off!

7 Quick Takes, writing, current projects, booksEmily DeArdoComment

-I-

Hi everyone! Happy Memorial Day Weekend (if you’re in the U.S.)! It’s sort of the unofficial kick off to summer, so there will be barbecues and parties all over the place, and I begin the Great Jane Re-Read, where I re-read Jane Austen’s novels every summer. Want to join me? I’m starting with Sense and Sensibility.


-II-

In case you missed it, my book has a title! It’s a great one! I’m really excited! (Can you tell?) As soon as pre-orders open I will share it here. And, again, as a reminder: If you want book news first, before anyone else, sign up for the mailing list.


-III-

In other book-y news….

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Better Together is Take Up & Read’s new summer study! I just got my copy yesterday and she’s beautiful!

This book is all about Biblical Hospitality. Sometimes we get scared of hospitality, because we think we need to have the perfect house and the perfect food and the perfect playlist. That’s not what God calls us to do at all. Hospitality is simply sharing and gathering with people. We aren’t meant to do Christianity alone. Let’s get over the idea that hospitality has to be perfect!

This book would make a great summer study—I do hope you’ll join us!

-IV-

The big event of the summer is that my sister is getting married in Estes Park, CO, in June. So we’re all in the midst of preparing for that. I’ve got my packing list written but I haven’t actually started packing yet. And yes, I know I owe you a Denver travelogue, so that is coming, I promise!

-V-

This California bill is a terrible idea, on multiple fronts—if you live in California, email your reps about this?

The confessional has to be a place of absolute confidentiality. It just does. The state can’t mess with this, or it puts priests in a horrible position—they will either go to jail, or be excommunicated. And it put us, the laity, in a terrible position, because how can you be totally open in confession if you know the priest can repeat what you say? (Not that any priest worth his ordination would.)

No bueno, California! Stop it!

(article version of the video above here)

-VI-

Final edits for the book are being done! Well, not final final. Final as in, for the first draft. My editor will be getting me notes and I imagine next week will be a flurry of back and forth sending. :)

-VII-

And while Memorial Day is the kick off of summer in the U.S., let’s remember what it’s really about.




Coming January 2020-- Living Memento Mori: My Journey Through The Stations of the Cross

the bookEmily DeArdo2 Comments

Exciting news!

My book has officially been “launched” At Ave Maria Press, which means we have a title and a publication month!


Drumroll……….



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I love this title, but I know that you might be going, Memento huh?

Let me ‘splain.

Memento Mori is Latin for, "Remember that you will die" or, "remember death." Like a "memento" is something we have that reminds us of a person, place, or event, so memento mori is an item that is used to remind you that you will die, like a skull on your desk.

We do, as Christians, need to remember that we will die, that this world isn't all there is. A lot of us are in denial about this. 

So, that's what the first part of the title means--living with the knowledge that you are going to die. I've done that for an awful lot of my life, and that's a big part of the book.

The book examines this through the lens of the stations of the cross. So, each chapter is based around one of the 14 (well, 15, if you count the resurrection, which we are) stations--talking about Jesus' suffering, about our suffering, about memento mori, and using Pope St. John Paul II's letter On the Meaning of Human Suffering. 

It sounds like a lot, and it is, but it's a great "lot." I am trying to make it informative, hopeful, joyful (to an extent that the cross is joyful!--think "felix culpa"--O Happy Fault!), and with lots of C.S. Lewis references. 

So that’s what the title means!

January 2020 is the month before Lent starts—we get a February start next year, so may I suggest this will be FABULOUS Lenten reading?

Seven Quick Takes--The First Draft Exists!

7 Quick Takes, Catholic 101, current projects, hearing loss, Seven Quick Takes, writingEmily DeArdo2 Comments
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Linking up with Kelly!

I.

The FIRST DRAFT EXISTS!

Yay!

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When I first got the contract information, the fact that Ave Maria wanted a first draft by June 1 was daunting to some people I talked to. “Can you do it in two months?”

HELL YES I CAN.

II.

Why was I so confident?

Because I have journalism training. And political training.

And when you have both of those, you learn to write quickly, on ridiculous deadlines.

Deadlines? WHAT DEADLINES.

So, thank you to Professor Kelly Messinger in college for all the Chimes Wednesday nights where we ate Chipotle and wrote into the wee hours! And edited! And wrote! And edited!

III.

Now, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy, because sometimes….


But then I apply my Maxim: You cannot edit a blank page.

Get anything on the page. Anything. Let it sit there and then come back later and edit it. You never know what can happen.

Chapter 10, for example? WENT OFF THE RAILS. I had no idea where I was going with that one, and we went somewhere I had not anticipated. But there it is!

(It might not stay the way it is. LOL.)

IV.

Speaking of writing—my ebook, Catholic 101, is now $5!

That’s it. Five bucks, y’all.

Go get it!


V.

I also promise to have the Denver travel posts up next week. This week was just nuts, with getting the first draft done….oh, and getting a new CI processor!!!!!!!

VI.

So, if you want more on the CI, you can visit my series here. Basically I was glad to have hearing, but the processor I had had shortcomings. I couldn’t use the phone.

Now….I might be able to use the phone! I mean, what?!

I can listen to my voicemails and understand them!

So far, this new processor is a game changer.


VII.

Oh, one more thing about the draft—a question I’ve been getting a lot is, “Well, didn’t you have to write the book before you submitted it?”

Short answer: No. Most places, for non-fiction, want a proposal, with a chapter sample, but not the whole book. I’ll talk more about the parts of the process later (especially in my newsletter!). But, no. I had to write the book to the proposal specs.




An Old School Easter Daybook

Daybook, hockey, Orchard House, the book, travel, writingEmily DeArdoComment

Remember how we used to do these all the time? Bringing it back. :) At least for this week.

“Resurrection of Christ and Women at the Tomb”, Fra Angelico

“Resurrection of Christ and Women at the Tomb”, Fra Angelico

Outside my window:

The tree outside my porch. Isn’t she pretty?

The tree outside my porch. Isn’t she pretty?

Wearing:

Jeans and a navy blue and white stripped shirt that I’ve had forever and probably need to stop wearing outside the house, LOL.

Reading

I’m on a Laura Ingalls Wilder kick so I’m re-reading the series; I’m on By The Shores of Silver Lake. I’m also reading The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and I’ve got Cranford in my bag for the trip I’m taking this week.

Plans for the week:

I’m going to visit my sister in Denver for her bachelorette party! Yay! So that’ll be fun. I’ve never been to Colorado.

Celebrating:

Easter! It’s an octave, so that means that it’s EIGHT DAYS OF EASTER. So be sure to keep celebrating! The Easter season is actually fifty days long, culminating in Pentecost. So get your celebration on. We fast and abstain and do penance for forty days of Lent, but then we have fun for fifty days! So have fun!

(But don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.)

If you normally give up meat on Friday, you don’t have to this coming Friday, because of the Easter octave. Yay! Woo woo!

I don’t pray the Glorious mysteries at all during Lent, but for the next seven days they’ll be all I pray when I say my rosary. Gotta fill up on the good stuff.

Around the house:

I’m putting up some wall art over at Orchard House. My couch has STILL not arrived and that’s holding up a lot of the art work because I want to see what works when the couch is here. But I have up two Rose Harrington prints in my office:

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Aren’t they pretty?

Speaking of the office….

Writing:

I’m doing pretty well on the book! I’m really excited about this. I’m almost 2/3 of the way done! Some of the chapters have been pretty substantially re-written from my first draft, but that’s ok because now they’re better. My editor is great. (She’s also patient, which is nice. Sometimes I get all rabbity in my thinking, meaning I’m all over the place. She helps. :) ) I want to have a draft of chapter 10 (Jesus is Stripped of His Garments) before I leave on Wednesday.

Listening to:

The “hallelujah!” chorus from Messiah and the studio cast recording of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (not the Disney movie. The musical that’s derived from the Disney movie. It’s good stuff.)

Sharing Contemplation:

In the Gospel of Matthew, the women at the tomb left quickly with fear and great joy.

Fear and joy go together a lot of the time, don’t they? I got the book contract and then I had to write the thing and I’m afraid I’ll write crap. :-P You get pregnant and you want a baby, but then….labor! Right? I’d never noticed that sentence before. Fear and joy, co-existing all the time.

Getting the transplant call—-fear and joy.

Bet you can think of your own examples.

Maybe I’ll put this in the book? :)

Other good things:

BLUE JACKETS!!!! Their second-round series will be with either Boston or Toronto and will start this week (most likely). That series is going to game seven, so whoever will play will be tired, to say the least—but the Jackets can’t let up. Hope they don’t! Very excited about this series!

A Little Catholic 101 on Easter and Pentecost

And I’ve started a monthly newsletter-y thingy JUST for blog subscribers. They will find out all the book news first, they get special behind-the-scenes glances of things, I might even do book giveaways, WHO KNOWS. Anyway, you don’t want to miss this, so SIGN UP.

Please and thank you!




Seven Quick Takes In a Deluge

7 Quick Takes, current projects, Seven Quick Takes, Orchard House, hockeyEmily DeArdoComment
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Linking up with Kelly!

I.

OK, so, first, I’m thrilled to tell you that the talk I recorded for Kelly’s conference has been accepted! Yay! I’m part of the speaker’s library that attendees will have access to!

What is this conference, you might ask? Kelly has created a conference for Catholic parents of kids with special needs, called “Accepting the Gift.” You can attend in person, OR (and I love this part), you can attend virtually! How cool is that? So if you can’t make it to New Jersey, you can still attend!

Here is the conference page, so check it out! And do attend!


II.

This is also the first talk I’ve done as an adult—I did a witness talk at my parish mission when I was sixteen—but I really do like my talk, all things considered. :) It’s called “Joy Anyway”, and it’s about living life with a chronic illness, because, a lot of the time, we hear from the parents of people like me, but not the actual people who have the illness, and so I’m thrilled that Kelly asked me to contribute my thoughts, because I do care about this quite passionately, as you all know. :)

And of course I love the parents! Parents are awesome! But it’s important to get the perspective from the person with “the thing” as well, in my book. So, thanks Kelly for asking me! (And accepting the talk!)


III.

OK so yeah, it’s deluging here right now. Lots and lots and lots of rain being dumped on Orchard House at the moment. I overslept this morning and this is probably why, because it’s really dark outside. Not that I mind—I generally like rainy days.


IV.

Today is part of the editing process in the writing of the book. My editor has sent me chapters back, and now I go through and play with them and see what I can do to make them better. Some of the changes I just accepted on the first go round because they were easy (like, adapting to the press’s style guide) or just made sense. Bigger changes require more thought and distance, so that’s what I’m doing today.


V.

My birthday was on Tuesday, so I’m thirty-seven now! And it was a gorgeous day, which is rare in central Ohio in early April—it snowed on my birthday (as in the day I was born). But yesterday it was 82 and kids were in the pool, which made me shiver just seeing them in there, because that water was going to be cold!

ANYWAY (digression over!), it was a good birthday with sun and good food.

No, Emily did not eat all this cake. Emily did not come  close  to eating all this cake. We shared it. :)

No, Emily did not eat all this cake. Emily did not come close to eating all this cake. We shared it. :)


VI.

I also think that everyone should like their birthday. Because birthdays mean you survived another trip around the sun! Yay!!!!!! Birthdays are great! I mean, yeah, I’m thirty-seven, but to me, that’s sort of awesome. I wasn’t supposed to hit thirty-three. I wouldn’t have seen twenty-seven without Suzanne, my donor. So, yeah. Birthdays rock.

VII.

It’s hockey playoff time, and Dad and I are going to see the Jackets play the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday! This has been a bucket list item for me for awhile—seeing an NHL playoff game. The nice thing is that since the Jackets are playing Tampa, I can unreservedly root for them. When they play the Penguins in the playoffs (as they’ve done before), I can’t do that, I’m torn! But now, I can root for them all the way. It’s going to be great! The Jackets have all sorts of things planned—there’s a big plaza in front of the arena so there will be activities, and the arena opens up earlier than usual so people can head in and start the party. I hope the Jackets win! (They won the first game on Wednesday in Tampa in an amazing comeback. They play tonight. Pens are down one game to none against the Islanders. If you don’t care about hockey, I’m sorry this take was all hockey. :) )

Seven Quick Takes--House Updates, Writing, Hockey

7 Quick Takes, behind the scenes, current projects, the book, Seven Quick TakesEmily DeArdoComment
seven quick takes.jpg

Linking up with Kelly!

I.

So, first, the Penguins are in the playoffs for the thirteenth year in a row. This makes me happy.

(If you’re new here—I’m a huge hockey fan. The Penguins are my “main” team. The Blue Jackets are my “home” team and I want them to make the playoffs too, which they will do if they win one of their next two games.)

II.

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Orchard House is in the stage of “personalization” or “zhushing” as they say on Home Town. I’m putting up pictures and other fun things, like my refreshed ribbon board in my bedroom:


III.

If you want to see how tiny Emily was in college, here’s my college ID closeup, along with one of my favorite magazine cutouts:

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IV.

And about the button. It says “Italians for President Nixon.” Now, obviously, I wasn’t alive to vote for Nixon. But one of my best friends, Branden, is an auctioneer (as well as about 5 million other things, including our county clerk), and he loves political memorabilia, so he thought I’d like it, since I’m half Italian. And I do like it. It’s funny.

V.
The big pink piece of paper is an audience ticket my friend Amilia gave me. She was lucky enough to attend a general audience with Pope St. John Paul II, and she gave me the ticket. You can tell I’ve had it FOREVER, it’s all sun bleached, but I love it.

VI.

The dog picture? That’s Liberty, who used to be Colonial Williamsburg’s mascot. I was so psyched to meet her when we visited two years ago! She was such a good dog!

VII.

I could keep telling stories, but I’ll wrap up with a writing update! (Maybe next week I’ll tell more stories? What do you think? Because everything on this board has a story!)

So I’ve sent chapters 1-4 to my editor. She has sent me edits for chapters 1-2. So we are really making progress! Yayyyy!





I Never Want to Get Used to This

behind the scenes, the bookEmily DeArdoComment

I came home from grocery shopping yesterday and found a box against my door.

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This is the box that holds my contract, as well as some AMP swag (yay swag!) and other notes that are important in the Writing of The Book.

I still really can’t entirely believe this is happening.


And yes, the book is being written. The contract will be signed and mailed today so yay!


Did That Really Just Happen?

writing, the bookEmily DeArdo4 Comments
Jo's novel .jpg

Well, guys.

It happened.

I have a book contract.


Yes. IT’S TRUE!!!!!

I’m going to write a book for Ave Maria Press, uniting my story with a Way of the Cross. The book is tentatively titled The Way of Your Cross, and it’s devotional in nature. It’s going to incorporate Pope St. John Paul II’s Salvific Doloris (On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering), Scripture, all sorts of stuff.

I am thrilled to death. And also flabbergasted. And….just amazed. It’s sort of like the world’s best caffeine high.

I’ve been going around the world like Belle in the bookshop.


I mean, it’ll be a real book! On REAL SHELVES! That people can REALLY GO TO A STORE AND BUY!

I feel a lot like Jo in Little Women. “I'‘M AN AUTHOR!!!!”

I can’t quite process this.

(Last GIF, I swear:

The book will be for sale next Lent, we’re hoping. That’s the goal.

Now I have to write the thing.

Obviously I will keep you updated! If you want to know about book stuff FIRST, then please sign up to follow the blog, so you get all the news first!

Thank you for all the support and prayers, everyone! It means the world to me!