Wee Read Wednesday: “Longing to Love” by Tim Muldoon

Recently released by Loyola Press, “Longing to Love” is a poignant reminder of the many pathways of love in the human heart.

Muldoon’s memoir was a touching story of his family’s journey to adoption (they adopted two little girls from China), which brought to mind one of my other favorite books, Sheldon Vanauken’s A Severe Mercy. (Both authors attended Oxford, and both stories involve the blossoming relationships of couples who love each other deeply, yet are unable to have children.)

As they contemplated becoming parents, Muldoon recounts the qualms he experienced — feelings common to many prospective adoptive parents, though they are usually felt more strongly by one partner. He writes:

“Whereas I enjoyed the garden of our young marriage, she sought the next of a young family. Over time, the tenor of her suasion was hopeful, idealistic, even theological: God wants us to do this. I eventually found myself giving reticent assent, still ill at ease with the real questions of how we could afford to begin raising a family with a near-total lack of income on my part. The decision to bring children into our world was, then, about being willing to act upon trust, both in her and in the belief that God spoke to me most clearly through her. She was my sacrament. She was teaching me what it meant to love” (p.7).

These lessons were not always easy learned — they involved moments of great joy and heartache alike, although in the author’s own words, “it was preferable to live with the risk of both real joy and real suffering, rather than to live a safe, comfortable, sanitized, unremarkable life” (p.30).

And so, the couple moved forward, bravely, choosing to extend themselves in love rather than drawing inward in their childless grief. “I am falling in love,” Muldoon writes. “Even in spite of the may ways I have prepared for this experience, I am surprised and amazed at how it is happening. But the simple truth is that this child has captured my heart; I am smitten and out-of-control in love with her” (p.125).

This book would make a great gift for a couple you know who is contemplating expanding their family through adoption.


CWCO 2009 Monday: Workshops and Mission Statements


If you logged on today expecting to see the regular “Miracle Monday” feature, this might be a bit of a shock on your system … All this week, EMN will be featuring an overview of the Catholic Writers’ Conference Online, which is a joint effort of the the Catholic Writer’s Guild and the Extraordinary Moms Network.

Today’s sessions are dedicated to introducing the online workshops that are being held this week. These are run much like online college classes — the lessons are posted for you to work through and post your comments and/or homework. The leader checks in throughout the day to respond to any questions you might have. This year we are offering the following workshops:

“Creative Calisthenics” with Terri Main
“Description and Setting” with Kim Richards
“Dialogue” with Devon Ellington
“Everything by Writing” with Sue Lick
“Generating Ideas for Fiction” with Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
“How to Sell Yourself” with VS Grenier
“Humor Writing” with Ron Berry
“Publisher-Quality Manuscripts” with Frank Creed
“Query Letters that Sell” with Melanie Rigney
“What Editors Want” with Lea Schizas
“Worldbuilding” with Karina Fabian
“Writing the Short Screenplay” with Kristen Johnson

Finally, if you are one of the lucky few who are able to pitch a book idea to one of the real, live editors who will be joining us on Thursday … I have a chat scheduled this morning to offer you a few pointers!  (If you missed it, the chats are available for viewing in the workshop forum section of the website until the end of the conference.)  Continue reading