Life: Being and Becoming Catholic

For those who don’t know, I’m Catholic. I’ve received the sacraments of baptism, communion, and confirmation. I go to church every Sunday and I try to pray as often as I can – especially when I see an accident or broken down car on the road. With that said, I am a firm believer of accepting others for who they are and not forcing my own beliefs. So, I don’t bring up my faith unless it’s the focal point of a conversation. However, I would like to share an important event that is happening this weekend for Eddie and I.

To prepare for our wedding, Eddie and I needed go to pre-marital counseling with our presiding priest. It’s a part of the Catholic wedding process, and one that I was looking forward to. A lot of the questions that we discussed were topics Eddie and I had had before, but we learned some things about each other and about our partnership that had never come to light in the past. It strengthened our relationship and made it clear how well we completed one another.

One of the questions that came up was how we were planning on raising our children. For me the answer was simple: they would be raised Catholic as I was. It was important for me to provide my children a faith foundation. Eddie agreed that having faith was importance, but found that he didn’t want his children growing up with opposing beliefs.

Eddie grew up in a family that wasn’t very religious. While his dad was considered baptist, his mom didn’t really have a set religion. Eddie became a non-denominational christian when he was in high school thanks to a past girlfriend’s influence. Eddie’s family didn’t focus on religion, and that’s okay.

I grew up Catholic thanks to my mom, who’s entire family is pretty devout. My mom and her brothers went to Catholic school, and so did a few of my cousins. Though I went to public school, I did have catechism every Monday through middle school and my faith has grown over time. My dad and his family weren’t very religious – to this day, I’m still not sure if my dad believes in anything. That’s okay, too.

So when the topic of kids came up, I was comfortable with having one parents who was Catholic and one who wasn’t. We both believed in God and Jesus, so it wasn’t that crazy of an idea. But Eddie realized that he didn’t want that for his kids.

Now, the Catholic church has some teachings we don’t agree with – and with how I was raised, we shouldn’t agree with everything. As Mom put it, “it’s important to question authority.” That includes God. Otherwise, we’d just be sheep. I think this revelation, as well as the idea of a future family, is what was what helped Eddie to decide to take the proverbial plunge into Catholicism.

So this year he went through the RCIA to begin his journey to joining the Catholic church. All of his teachings and preparation comes to a head this week as we prepare for Easter, the most holy day of the year. Palm Sunday we received our palms and had them blessed. On Monday we went to the Communal Penance to complete the sacrament of reconciliation. Tuesday I went to the Catholic store to buy a cross for our house and will have it blessed on Easter. Eddie went to Holy Thursday Mass and participated in the washing of the feet ceremony. On Good Friday we will take time during 12-3PM to go to church and do the stations of the cross and read the gospel. Then it will all come to a close on Easter Vigil, where I will be Eddie’s sponsor and witness as he receives his sacraments.

I am very honored to have been a part of this process. While I love Eddie regardless of his religion, it brings me great joy and comfort knowing that we share the same beliefs. I know that God has put us in each other’s path for a reason, and this time of year helps me recognize it even more.

 

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LIFE: Murder Mystery Dinner

For the last ten weeks, my fiance has been practicing with his improv comedy group, RPG Comedy, for their upcoming murder mystery dinner theater. The show was titled Holmes and Watson “Parliamentary” He Said, and was part two of a three part mystery. The story for this show focused on stolen legal documents, foreign spies, and a double homicide. However, there is an overarching mystery as to who is Moriarty.

Eddie was cast as Mycroft Holmes, who would be hosting the dinner party and at the head of the case. Included in the cast were Sherlock and Watson, as well as various outrageous characters including a crazy doctor, two suffragettes, and various businessmen and members of parliament. Those attending the show were encouraged to participate by doing our own detective work, which included interviewing the suspects and reviewing dossiers.

The entire show lasted about three hours, which was broken up between a four course meal and an interactive show. By the end of the night, every table made their final guess. Our table hypothesized that one of the suffragette’s was sleeping with the son of a man in parliament, and they conspired to kill his father to rise in power. So, they poisoned the tips of the suffragette pins that were being passed out to everyone. The pin successfully killed the lord in charge, but his secretary was accidentally killed instead of the man’s father. As for the foreign spies and the missing documents, we had no clue.

Turns out the victims had been poisoned as we expected, but not from the pins. What we missed was that several of the suspects and the victims met at a bar before the dinner and the poisoning happened there. A mind-control drug (that actually exists) was being administered slowly, and an overdose cased the murder. As for the foreign spies, it was one of the victims who had accidentally been murdered by her partner.

Needless to say, I’m not a very good detective. But our table did win the prize for the most incorrect (and creative) answer of the night. We won bars of chocolate, so I guess it’s better to be the best loser than anything else!

Overall, the mystery was very well written, albeit a bit difficult to piece together. I learned during the after party that this was due to the previous show being too easy. So, the writer cranked up the difficulty. Granted, it probably would have been easier if it was easier to hear what the actors were saying. There was a birthday party in the next banquet hall over and their music was extremely loud; and while Eddie blew out his voice to project over the music, quieter characters such as Watson tended to get drowned out by the noise. This left a lot of clues go unnoticed.

That being said, the actors did an amazing job of staying in character throughout the entire night and for really acting their hearts out. I’m very excited to see part three of the mystery and finally learning the identity of Moriarty.

While there, I also took many photos of the event for RPG Comedy to use. Some of my favorites are down below for you to check out!

D&D: Session 26

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Instead of going out to the bars and drinking, we decided it would be more fun to play a session of D&D and have a personalized drinking game.

Take a drink every time:
– Rocky charges
– Lorn turns into a monkey
– Neebs hits on someone
– Dwayne tries to use glibness incorrectly
– Marven uses slow breath
– Kass plays an instrument
– Alkaid summons another Alkaid (Hard Mode: one shot for every Alkaid)
– Rhaegar throws a weapon
– Basile sends a three-way telepathic message
– Ciaran summons nature’s ally

Finish your drink when
– Rhaegar Dies

Of course, I don’t personally drink and we needed some designated drivers for the night, but it was fun to watch the madness ensue: With the rules set, let’s see how drunk everyone got:

SESSION 26

Players:

  • Ciaran (LVL16) and Basile (LVL18)
  • Lorn (LVL18)
  • Marven (LVL18)
  • Rhaegar (LVL 18)
  • Alkaid (LVL 18)
  • Kass (LVL 17)
  • Neebs (LVL 18)
  • Dwayne (LVL 17)

In town, Alkaid proposes that Lorn help her teleport Rugen’s castle to Neebsenshire. Ciaran has a pearl of power that can be used to help Lorn if necessary. Lorn declines, because stealing from the High King of the Commonwealth isn’t a good idea. Alkaid asks Neebs if “dibs” is the law, and Neebs says it’s the highest law.

Rhaegar and Lorn look around for Basile, and Ciaran says that he went out. So Ciaran, Alkaid, and Rhaegar go hunting for bears. Rhaegar is there to hunt, but Alkaid wants to befriend it. She fails, but Rhaegar demolishes him. Ciaran senses motive and sees another bear very sad that they killed a bear. Alkaid offers to hunt down a deer, and Ciaran is happier with that because deer are supposed to be eaten but not bears.

Lorn cast Dragon Eye Rune to scry Basile and sends him a message asking where he’s going. Basile insists that he just needs some space to think. Lorn is concerned that Basile isn’t watching Ciaran, and he states that he’s still alive so Ciaran is fine. Lorn will check in with him frequently to ensure that he’s okay.

Neebs cleans the ship – or instructs others to clean it – as he observes. Kass checks in on his students and the college is thriving. Marven is teaching Lili how to walk.

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LIFE: Bachelorette Party!

As the wedding creeps closer at an alarming rate, my weekends are growing increasingly busy with appointments, family events, and last minute planning. This weekend we had my bachelorette party with my closest friends and family. The day started off with lots of cleaning and preparing the house for guests. Eddie was kind enough to surprise me with a small gift for the evening, a Mooncake plush from Final Space. Ever since the show came out I’ve been wanting a Mooncake, and I was surprised to see him appear on the kitchen table.

Shortly after my Matron(s) of Honor showed up to help decorate the house with blue and orange balloons, streamers, and candy. It’s a good thing that Eddie’s birthday is in a few days – I don’t have to worry about decorating!

Slowly, people started arriving at the house and we all went to Painting with a Twist! We had about thirteen of us painting a sunset that I had picked out. It was great getting a to listen to Panic! at the Disco and paint with my friends. Everyone’s pieces turned out great, and I hope they all liked the painting that I picked out for us.

Once we were done painting, we went back to the house to eat dinner and play games – particularly, Cards Against Humanity. The night ended with opening some gifts, both family friendly and not-so-family friendly.

I am very blessed to have such wonderful friends and family who want to celebrate this moment in my life and spoil me with their love and kindness. I would not be the person I am today if it wasn’t for them in my life, and I’m glad to share this special moment with them all.

D&D Session 24 & 25

I can’t believe that we’ve been playing this campaign for a year now! Our characters have grown, the story has been dramatic, thoughtful, and slightly stupid at times, and we’ve all become better friends. This session was a bit weird, as half the party couldn’t show up, and the main DM had to leave half-way to go to perform an improv show before returning. There was also house sitting involving a cat that MADE MY DAY. Regardless, we had a great time with a few pretty RP heavy session.

SESSION 24

Players:

  • Ciaran (LVL16) and Basile (LVL18)
  • Marven (LVL18)
  • Rhaegar (LVL 18)
  • Alkaid (LVL 18)

After receiving an urgent message from Lorn 2.0, Lorn leaves to resolve whatever concern was happening in Neebsenshire. Rocky went along with him (and then had explosive diarrhea, says Jake.)

In the early morn, Marven and Rhaegar (who is wearing a Mask of True Seeing) goes out to check out the place where the Assassin said Lynx was located. They visit the tavern The Fearless Flumph. As they walk in, some of the patrons seem very scared of Marven. Marven asks how the salted pork it and asks for all of it. The bartender is too nervous to respond so Marven just goes to the back. The chef, Bradley, is offended by Marven barging in, but after learning that Marven dropped 20 gold he obliges. He asks Bradley to make him a steak and answer some questions. It’s the best steak Marven has ever eaten and he tips 100 gold. Marven then asks if anyone shadier than normal came around for business, providing sketches of specific emblems from his family. Bradley has never seen the Ebonfire symbol, but recognizes the personal symbol of Lynx. He says that Lynx talks to the bartender. Marven offers him a job in Neebsenshire, but Bradley is like “that place that god their asses kicked by the Commonwealth?” But Marven assures him that “rich people bought it up and now it’s safe – like Detroit.”

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AOF: The First Reviews Are In!

As you all know, The Art of Falling is my baby, and I want nothing more than to be able to promote my book, work on the sequels, and try to make this first novel of mine a success. Unfortunately, with how crazy life has been with trying to plan the wedding, I haven’t had any time to do much with my book other than think about all the things I want to do: mainly, a book signing event.

I’ve been so preoccupied with big life events, I haven’t even been keeping track of Amazon reviews or sales. So it was a pleasant surprise when I stumbled across the first few reviews for the novel!

February 3, 2018

Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Art of Falling is a fun take on good versus evil, heaven versus hell, and two unwitting lovers in a battle for their souls. This book’s got enough familiarity to entice you, and plenty of new steps to make it refreshing and interesting. I can’t wait for the next one!
Nancy

January 20, 2018

Format: Paperback
Can’t wait for the next book! 😱

Amazon Customer
January 23, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I would definitely recommend this book. It was a great read that had me on the edge of my seat at times. I’m waiting on the next book! 5 stars.

In addition to these, fellow author Shanon Rohrer wrote a thoughtful and honest review over on goodreads that you can check out here. (But be warned, there may be spoilers.)

I am so thankful for these simple reviews and ratings, as it shows that my five years of work haven’t gone to waste. Sure, I’m proud of myself for achieving a dream of mine, but seeing others enjoy my hard work makes it worthwhile.

Reviews are so important to a writer. If the writing process is our life blood, and a following of readers are our backbone, reviews are the bread and butter that keeps us going. If we never receive feedback – both positive and negative – we can lose our drive and energy to keep writing.

So please, do me a favor the next time to read a book: go to the author’s Amazon page, Goodreads, or website. Leave a review, even if it’s just a simple statement. It will make the author’s day and help boost their chances of becoming the next big success.

ART: Ziksua

comission dani

After seeing a speedpaint of Michael from Be More Chill on youtube, I instantly fell in love with Ziksua’s art and requested that she draw Etoile and Viraine from The Art of Falling. She nailed it!

Check out more of her art over at her deviantArt page: https://ziksua.deviantart.com/