Showing posts from March, 2018

I have turned my blog black as a mark of respect for Our Lord's Sorrowful Passion

Today is Good Friday and the holiest of holy days, and in honour of Our Lord's Passion I have changed my blog's background image from the bright lights of London to a sombre black. 

I have been reading and re-reading a lot of St Francis de Sales of late, because I will be editing a book which draws on his wisdom. 

From St Francis de Sales's The Invitation of Calvary I have been meditating on these lines; 

"He mounted the cross through obedience and died on it through obedience. All those who are willing to be saved through the cross will find salvation there. But those who desire to be saved without it will perish miserably" 

"Listen to this dear Saviour, who cries out that he is thirsting for our salvation who awaits and invites us to it."

"Why do some ask for a redemption other than that of the cross? Is the cross not sufficient? It is more than sufficient."

"He did not redeem us with just a single sigh, just a single tear, but with many, m…

John Carmichael, author of Drunks and Monks on The Journey Home

John Carmichael, author of Drunks and Monks on The Journey Home, March 2018. 

 A still taken during the filming of The Journey Home with Marcus Grodi.

My friend Tom Leopold to comedy writers: "Make sure you think it's funny"

Tom Leopold has given an interview to The Writer Magazine. Here is my favorite gem from the piece, "I want to speak as a comedy writer, If you want to touch people – using comedy writing as an example – make sure you think it’s funny." 

Tom warns against the trap of people pleasing where a writer writes, "what they think others might think is funny or what is funny at the moment."

There is a need for courageousness, as Tom says, "have the nerve to write the thing that absolutely drives you crazy, or you love, or you think is hysterical."

Speaking of the paramount importance of being specific, Tom advises, "the more specific you are in writing, the more general an audience can react to it".  Giving writers hope in being specific he says, "because none of us are so original that there won’t be a big swathe of people out there who agree."  You may read the whole interview here

Tom is a veteran comedy writer and has been in the business f…

A loose-lipped Pope and tight-lippped laypeople: Pope Francis' ironic papacy

"Sorry, Mary. I know I discussed giving you an interview but I'd rather not, I can't air my views on Catholicism. I'd look more conservative than Pope Francis," said a high-profile Catholic who I'd been chasing for an interview.  Worried their views on Catholic teaching would be picked up by news sites and they would be hauled over the coals for being a conservative outlier in the time of Francis, they balked at sitting down with me and my dictaphone. They were forthright with me because we'd become friendly over the months I had tried to charm them into going on the record on the subject of their personal prayer life and how at home they were in the Catholic Church.

Others feared such an interview would be a gateway for further forensic questioning by the media on such things as 'gay rights' and if they agreed with the statement, "who am I to judge" when they may believe such a "lifestyle" to be sinful. They didn…