Coffee House Mornings

Coffee House Morning
DYM 2016

I don’t know about you, but a coffee-house-kind-of-morning five to six times a year helps keep my writer’s heart alive. Typically, at our CWStL meetings, we start with some hellos (and hugs), a few minutes of prayer, and catching up on “business” (contests, conferences, and other news and notifications). Then we share what we’ve been reading and writing and discuss many other topics, always centered in our identity as Catholic artists.

So, thank you, fellow CWStL members for sharing your Faith, struggles, accomplishments, minds, and hearts with our group, and for helping me personally persevere in the writing aspects of my world!

Breathing Realistic Personality into Your Fictional Characters

On Saturday the 28th of February, almost thirty local Catholic writers attended the CWStL’s two-hour special presentation and workshop: Enliven Your Writing with an Understanding of Clinical and Spiritual Psychology.

The meeting was held at All Saints Catholic Church in St. Peters, Missouri. Author Cathy Gilmore of the CWStL welcomed guest presenter Dr. Richard P. Johnson who invited all attendees to broaden their understanding of “personality.”

With a deep understanding of and a heart for the Catholic Faith, Dr. Johnson explained and illustrated his paradigm of personality (based on years of research, study, and development). Then, he defined with his unique terminology and further elucidated with anecdotes how writers can use this understanding of personality in order to create and develop vivid, believable characters.

“Writing accurately, and especially writing in the light of Jesus and
with the hand of the Holy Spirit, demands that we describe the redemptive process
as it unfolds in the spiritual personality of the characters we create.
For this we need to know what constitutes human personality
and how the Spirit works to bring us closer to God.”
-Dr. Richard P. Johnson

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After a coffee/tea and pastries break, Cathy Gilmore then lead the group in a writing workshop. She asked the writers to take 15 minutes in silence and put pen to paper using their newfound understandings as presented by Dr. Johnson. Attendees sketched scenes, developed characters, and composed poetry; and some even shared their unique results.

It was a spiritually uplifting and intellectually stimulating morning!

To learn more about Dr. Johnson, Ph.D., PCSG, LPC, NCC and his nationally recognized pioneering work in Healing and Medical Behavioral Sciences, visit his website: www.HealYourIllness.com

Dr. Johnson is an award-winning author of numerous books focused on spiritual growth. He published his first novel, The Nun and The Doctor, in 2004.

Enliven Your Writing 
with an Understanding of 
Clinical and Spiritual Psychology

Catholic Writers of St. Louis
and

The Catholic Writers Group of All Saints

Invite You to Attend
a Special Presentation and Writing Workshop

“Enliven Your Writing
with an Understanding of
Clinical and Spiritual Psychology”

Featuring
Richard P. Johnson, Ph.D., PCSG, LPC, NCC
www.healyourillness.com


Saturday the 28th of February 2015
8:30 – 11:00 am

(Presentation begins promptly at 9:00)

All Saints Catholic Church
in the Parish Center

7 McMenamy Road
St. Peters, MO

RSVP to Denise Y. Montgomery
at dymontgomery@gmail.com

Meeting: November 10, 2012

Catholic Writers of St. Louis

Saturday, November 10, 2012
St. Charles Coffee House/10:00 AM

Opening Prayer:
“Open my mind, Lord. Grant me the talent to write with clarity and style, so my words go down rich and smooth, like fine wine, and leave my reader thirsty for more.
Open my heart, Lord. Grant me the sensitivity to understand my characters–their hopes, their wants, their dreams–and help me to confer that empathy to my reader.
Open my soul, Lord, so I may be a channel to wisdom and creativity from beyond my Self. Stoke my imagination with vivid imagery and vibrant perception.
But most of all, Lord, help me to know the Truth, so my fiction is more honest than actuality and reaches the depths of my reader’s soul.
Wrap these gifts with opportunity, perseverance, and the strength to resist those who insist it can’t be done. Amen.” (www.inspirationforwriters.com)

Catholic Writers’ Guild News:
* CWG Newsletter/ Writing and Promo Opportunities: All submissions are due by the 7th of each month. Send all submissions, ideas, and comments to: newsletter@catholicwritersguild.com and you will receive a response within 5 days.
* CWCO (Catholic Writers’ Conference Online): March 4-15/ Registration open/ Pitch sessions and chat/forum presenters/ Online Conference Coordinator Laura Lowder at laura.lowder@gmail.com

Open Discussion/ Member Updates/ Thoughts for Future Meetings/ Etc.
* Scrivener
* “A Writing Spot of One’s Own”: writing at the Tabernacle
* 2013 conference (secular and religious) line-up (will post soon on www.CWStL.wordpress.com)
* “A Guide to Becoming a Better Writer: 15 Practical Tips”

Next Meeting: TBD (will email)

Keep in touch via our website!
* www.CWStL.wordpress.com
* find conferences, job opportunities, calls for submissions/contests, author information/interviews, general writing industry and skill/art information, etc.
* links to members’ sites (please email me your bio or even just contact/ promo info.), other Catholic writing resources, etc.

Meeting: September 22, 2012

Catholic Writers of St. Louis
Saturday, September 22, 2012
St. Charles Coffee House/10:00 AM

Opening Prayer:
“The Writer’s Prayer”
“Open my mind, Lord. Grant me the talent to write with clarity and style, so my words go down rich and smooth, like fine wine, and leave my reader thirsty for more.
Open my heart, Lord. Grant me the sensitivity to understand my characters–their hopes, their wants, their dreams–and help me to confer that empathy to my reader.
Open my soul, Lord, so I may be a channel to wisdom and creativity from beyond my Self. Stoke my imagination with vivid imagery and vibrant perception.
But most of all, Lord, help me to know the Truth, so my fiction is more honest than actuality and reaches the depths of my reader’s soul.
Wrap these gifts with opportunity, perseverance, and the strength to resist those who insist it can’t be done. Amen.”
— Sandy Tritt (www.inspirationforwriters.com)

Catholic Writers’ Guild News:
* Live Conference Wrap-Up
* Online Conference
* Seal of Approval

Dianna Graveman Courses/Workshops:
* Communicating Effectively Through Media: Blogs, Social Media, Press Releases, and More
* Freelance to Finance Your Writing Career
* Pave the Path to Your First Publication
* The Long and Short of Writing Memoir

November, National Novel Writing Month

Clarifying Ideas and Organizing your Writing:
* exploring different methods
* what are your methods?

Open Discussion/ Member Updates/ Thoughts for Future Meetings/ Etc.:
* plot (driven writing) vs. character (driven writing)
* writing at the Tabernacle
* a funny sheet of Shakespearean insults (thank you, Maria and Katie!)

Next Meeting:
* Saturday,  November 10, 2012/ St. Charles Coffee House/10:00 AM

Meeting: July 21, 2012

Opening Prayer:
St. Francis de Sales, Patron Saint of Writers 
May the Lord guide all those who write for a living. Through your prayers, St. Frances de Sales, we ask for your intercession as we attempt to bring the written word to the world. Let us pray that God takes us in the palm of His hand and inspires our creativity and inspires our success. St. Francis de Sales, you understand the dedication required in this profession. Pray for God to inspire and allow ideas to flow. In His name, let our words reflect our Faith for others to read. Amen.

Member update and guest speaker:
Mary Brockgreitens, Publicist/Marketing Specialist at Liguori Publications and CWStL member Maurice “Maury” Prater, Advancement Director, MBA, CFRE, Missionaries of the Holy Family. Mary will present a brief overview of the pre-press process and what is done regarding pre-release distribution and publicity.

Photo by Denise Y. Montgomery 2012

Conference Update for Catholic Writers’ Guild (CWG):
The Catholic Writers’ Conference will be August 29-31, 2012 – in Arlington Texas at the
Arlington Convention Center in conjunction with the Catholic Marketing Network Tradeshow.
This year’s conference will focus on “Writing and the New Evangelization.”
Contact: Ann Lewis, President of Catholic Writers’ Guild at cwglivecon@catholicwritersguild.com and or at  317-755-2693

Jennifer Brinker:

Catholic wife, mother, and a reporter for the St. Louis Review.

* Open Discussion/ Member Updates/ Thoughts for Future Meetings/ Etc.

* Next Meeting: Saturday,  September 22, 2012/ St. Charles Coffee House/10:00 AM

Meeting: May 5, 2012

Catholic Writers of St. Louis                                                     
Saturday,  May 5, 2012
St. Charles Coffee House/10:00 AM

* Opening Prayer:
Reading from Matthew Kelly’s Rediscover Catholicism (p. 65-66)

* Conference Update for Catholic Writers’ Guild:
(CWG: www.catholicwritersguild.org)
In August the “Catholic Writers’ Conference LIVE” (from CWG) will be in Arlington, Texas. The conference is still in the planning stages, but it looks like the CWG will be teaming up with SQPN’s New Media Conference to provide a unique, star-studded day on blogging! You can register early right here on the conference web site: www.catholicwritersconference.com/store. The CWG is seeking volunteers for this conference!

* Non-fiction Critique Group News from the CWG:
The CWG is pleased to announce that Sister Marie Paul has agreed to start a critique group for non-fiction! Here’s a note from her: “We’re starting up a nonfiction critique group for CWG members who want to:
1) improve their writing by receiving constructive critiques
2) help other writers by offering encouraging and honest critiques
This group will focus exclusively on the wide range of nonfiction genres: informational books and articles, spirituality, self-help guides, biography, autobiography, etc., and may include books, articles, blog posts, etc.
Over the rest of April, we’ll brainstorm together the focus of the group (how we’d like to “meet”—forum, email, or voice such as Skype); how often we want to exchange our work; and any other support we’d like to offer each other. Simple guidelines for how to critique will be available as a starting point for those who have less experience critiquing others’ writing. To find out more or to join, please contact: CWG member SisterPaul (Sr. Marie Paul Curley) at paulwriter@gmail.com.”
There is a forum set up for this here. Please note that to see the forums, you must first log into the website. (Scroll down until you see the smiley on the left column. If it is blindfolded and says “Welcome, Anonymous,” you are not logged in.)  If you are interested, please contact her or post a comment in the forums.

* Book Covers & Book Trailers Discussion

* Dianna Graveman Speaking about Marketing Yourself as an Author
Visit Dianna on her websites at:
 www.diannagraveman.com and 2riverscommunications.net

* Next Meeting:   
Saturday,  July 21, 2012/ St. Charles Coffee House/10:00 AM

* Keep in touch via our website!
www.CWStL.wordpress.com
* find conferences, job opportunities, calls for submissions, author information, general writing industry and skill/art information, etc.
* (still) coming soon: links to members’ sites, other Catholic writing resources, etc.