Ann Frailey is a wife and homeschooling mother of eight children who lives in rural Illinois.
Posted 12/7/13 at 11:00 AM | Ann Frailey
I am usually pretty tired by the time Advent rolls around each year…family, school, house, land, animals, writing…all the good but challenging demands of life can take a toll when we are hard at it for months at a time. It took wisdom on the part of the Church to realize that this is a good time to stop and reevaluate what we are doing…why we are here, doing all the things we do, in the first place. The pagans of old were responding to a deep fear that the sun might not come back after the darkness…but the church decided…this is the best time to see most clearly what our lives are all about. Funny how life tends to work well, in what appears to be contradictions – finding the light by peering through darkness.
So I try to sneak in a little time to review what I have been doing…what works and what hasn’t been so successful, what I am finding draining and what offers some hope for the future, what I am still called to forge ahead with, and what things need to be closed and let go. Advent isn’t merely the time to get the tree up, the decorations out, presents bought and cards written…all that may be a part of the fun…but it is not the whole point. The whole point is to look at the life we have been given and wonder…really wonder…are we living…are we responding to the awesome call to become what God sent us here to accomplish. When we remember the little baby sent by the hand of God…God Himself in flesh…we have to be amazed at the faith He has in us. We did the best and the worst by His son. We loved him and we hated him. FULL POST
Posted 11/29/13 at 10:34 AM | Ann Frailey
When I lived in the Philippines as a Peace Core Volunteer – a long time ago – I lived in a tiny village in which a jeepney would come through a couple times a day. So, if you wanted to go any serious distance – you climbed aboard. Most people (most sane people) climbed inside, but since I was young and I hated sharing a seat with various live stock ( I still had my issues) I would step on the side board and hang on from the outside. There were those who did, and I just followed their example (I never asked permission or direction – must be a perennial condition of youth). Anyway – so away we would go…and believe me those Filipino drivers knew how to drive – how we didn’t end up over one of the multitude of mountainsides I’ll never know. (It could have been my prayers – but I doubt it as I never seemed to finish one before I got distracted with an “Oh, brother…” moment. But I did learn one very important thing – perhaps one of the most important things I ever learned any where – and that was….to hang on. FULL POST
Posted 11/18/13 at 10:21 AM | Ann Frailey
I have read Jane E and met the author and been impressed by both. I am looking forward to reading Don’t You Forget About Me. If you want a book that will awaken your imagination and stir your soul…and will last in your memory – try reading a book by Erin. Enjoy!
Be Salt, Not Salty: The Catholic Writer and the Non-Catholic Character
In my speaking repertoire, I have a presentation for junior high and high school English classes. It’s called “Why Should I Care About Jane Eyre? How I Learned to Stop Complaining and Love Assigned Reading.” In this presentation, I tell the teens why we read fiction: if nothing else, fiction helps us learn new ways of solving our problems—or, in literary speak, “resolving our conflicts.” So it may come as no shock to you that I am of a mind that fiction, in order to be interesting, must include conflict that we humans need to learn how to resolve. FULL POST
Posted 11/2/13 at 11:37 AM | Ann Frailey
It is a slow process to discover ways of becoming….Recently I learned that logos and brands are helpful to get your message out quickly – leaving an impression (either deep or fleeting depending on the situation) for readers to really understand what you are doing. The question for me has always been “What am I called to do by the God who created me?”
I could assume all sorts of images of grandeur but I have a host of family realities which do an excellent job in keeping me grounded. For example – bathroom towels have a way of falling on the floor and need to be cleaned, refolded and put in place…dishes have to be washed (though the kids are reallllly good at that) and there are a thousand details of living that require honest, simple, workable solutions. There is nothing particularly grand about our day (except perhaps the music and prayer) but it is in those details that sanity keeps a firm grip on me. (Notice - I don’t claim to keep a firm grip on anything.) FULL POST
Posted 10/19/13 at 10:47 AM | Ann Frailey |
Notice I used the word “spirit” not in terms of the paranormal experience we have all come to expect from recent movies – but rather the spirit behind the motivation to home school in the first place. We are problem solvers not victims of an unruly world.
Home schooling is way too much work for someone looking for a quick fix or a fantasy. What home schooling does offer is a wonderland of freedom from the straight jacket of merely becoming cogs in the wheel of life. (Did I mix my metaphors a bit there?)
In recent weeks my husband’s cancer issues have gotten a lot worse which makes him unable to deal with things he used to handle with ease. Thanks to the spirit of home schooling (A sense of stewardship for family, home and education – which I might add is also displayed by some wonderful public and private school families we know – for the Spirit comes where it will and is received by those who let it in.) my kids have been able to meet every challenge with alacrity, ingenuity and incredible cheerfulness. FULL POST
Posted 9/28/13 at 1:43 PM | Ann Frailey
It has come to my attention that there is a lot of new interest in Catholic fiction literature, not so much to teach a particular world view or a religios bias, but to promote stories with high moral themes that touches upon the universal in each of us. A case in point would be the new influx of Catholic publishers who are looking for authors whose writing reflect that interest. Here are some recent posts which delve deeper into this topic for your information. I am also including two recent reviews of my book ARAM which have been read by secular sources and won high praise indeed. To me - when my books move past the local "Catholic" market and touch the hearts of everyman - then I have achieved my greatest hope - to speak of a universal God to those who love Him and yearn to see His face.
The New Catholic Literature Revival, Or Something Like It
by Dan at Ignatius
September 27, 2013 5:33 pm |
Indie Catholic Publishing & The Book as Vessel FULL POST
Posted 9/14/13 at 4:27 PM | Ann Frailey |
When one examines the books, stories, letters, essays, poems and other examples of the written word that are remembered and referred to again and again throughout the long ages of history one comes to the almost inescapable conclusion that time has a way of helping us poor mortals separate the chaff from the wheat.
In the Old Testament we see written words that have been held sacred for thousands of years. Why? Because they revel something important about us - to us. They speak of humanity's relationship with God. They speak of God's will for individuals. They speak of God's love and wrath and the powers that exist beyond us. They enchant, frighten, draw us in, and out, towards something much bigger than our own little perspectives.
If you notice the writing elements of those authors whose work is still on best selling lists,classics lists, or reading lists,they seem to do much the same thing. They observe, ponder, discern, evaluate, question, and involve readers in the greater questions of our existence, questions that help us see ourselves as more than simple cogs in the great wheel of life. Yet, they do not all write essays pontificating on virtue, nor do they all write fantasy novels which take us out of our world and explore the metaphysical realities of good and evil. Letters, short stories, essays, novels of all types and genres, and even parables and fairy tales have enchanted readers over and over again throughout the ages. How do they do it? And how can we mimic their success? FULL POST
Posted 9/1/13 at 4:10 PM | Ann Frailey
As an author ( I didn’t say best selling or getting rich) but simply as an author who ponders the world she lives in, not so much because I am an objective scientist who can analyze our culture and come up with new and marvelous solutions to all our world’s problems, but rather as someone who actually cares, I do believe that there is a reason to cling to hope despite the ominous notes of despair wailing through the various media channels.
First of all, we need to put our world into perspective. I have been reading the Old Testament. Now there is a five thousand year time line that gives a modicum of perspective as to what humanity has been up to since we had the ability to communicate, prevaricate, and at times eliminate, all sign and vestige of hope. Reading the Book of Kings about King Saul and then King David is enough to make your hair stand up on end. I can’t help but wonder – “Really God, couldn’t you come up with better men to choose for Your Anointed?” But then as I am reading the Bible I have also been reading a lot about ancient history and goodness gracious! but humanity wasn’t very human in those days though there were some marvelous exceptions to the rule. FULL POST
Posted 8/17/13 at 11:43 AM | Ann Frailey |
Sometimes a good poem says it all. With the world the way it is and all the terrible troubles afflicting humanity I need to find inspiration and solace from the minds and hearts of those who have walked this earth before. Here is a poem from Rudyard Kipling who wrote The Jungle Book and Kim among others. He had some wonderful insight into the human heart.
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master, If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools: FULL POST
Posted 8/9/13 at 12:39 PM | Ann Frailey
In today’s world we don’t actually go to the circus to see men slaughter each other or par take of Greek and Roman bizarre sexual contortions…we just watch extremely realistic pretend versions of even worse scenarios. Then we convince ourselves that there is really some deep moral merit to the experience. Take the new movie The Host by the same author who brought us all those wonderful Vampire romances. Here’s a quick summary:
When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about, proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world.
Sounds kinda sweet doesn’t it? But here’s the background story:
In the future, the human race has been assimilated by extraterrestrial psychic parasites called “Souls”. Melanie Stryder, a human, is captured by a Seeker (Diane Kruger) and infused with a soul called “Wanderer”, in order to discover the location of one of the last pockets of non-assimilated humans. However, Melanie survives the procedure and begins to struggle for control of her body…Wanderer teaches Doc how to remove the Souls from people’s bodies without harming them, and asks to be removed from Melanie’s so Melanie can have her life back. FULL POST