I feel that I am “dancing” through Advent: constantly in motion, enjoying the music, perhaps with not quite enough breaks between dances–but that’s okay because I’m enjoying each moment anyway. Here’s what’s been taking up my first week of Advent:
I didn’t “win” NaNoWriMo, as I hadn’t planned to after getting such a late start, but I did write a respectable 15,416 words of my new novel in just over half a month. So, I’m very pleased with my NaNoWriMo experience, am off to a great start with my novel, and look forward to ScriptFrenzy in April 2011. Now that we’re into December, I will continue working on the novel on the side, but will get back to the book that I’m working on next week.
Something else that has kept me on my toes this week is doing a panel with Salt and Light TV this week on the topic of Advent. I had less time to prepare for the show than I usually do, but I really enjoyed the interplay between Father Chris Valka, CSB, Deacon Michael Knox, SJ, Salt & Light’s host, Pedro Guevara Mann, and myself. I hope those who watch it also enjoy the variety of viewpoints about Advent! It’s broadcasting this Friday evening (Dec. 3rd) at 7 PM EST, or you can watch it online here after it’s broadcast.
As an aside, Father Chris Valka has a couple of great blogs that deserve some notice! The first is called Attuned, a blog which highlights the best podcasts regarding faith and culture on the internet today. The second is Reverb, a blog which includes a short written reflection for each Sunday, as well as a podcast (or audio recording) of his Sunday homilies. If you like his comments on the Salt & Light interview, you might want to check it out.
The third event that is keeping me “dancing” through Advent is the preparation for our Christmas Party for Kids this Saturday, December 4th, from 10 AM – 4 PM, at our Pauline Books & Media Centre in Toronto. It’s a wonderful opportunity for families to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas. The highlight of the party is dressing up in a costume to pose for a photograph at the nativity scene–we have costumes of all sizes for the whole family, from shepherds to angels to Mary and Joseph. St. Nicholas also makes a special appearance every hour or so, and of course we sing “Happy Birthday” to Baby Jesus and celebrate with birthday cake. (Please join us with your family if you’re nearby!)
As long as I keep the focus on the spiritual preparation for Advent, I enjoy the hustle and bustle of this time because it calls forth that joyous virtue of generosity almost spontaneously. But I’m also aware that I can look forward to mid-month, when there will be fewer events, I will be getting back to more lengthy writing periods, and I will have time to see some of the best films of the season, especially The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader opening December 10th! (Note that Canada is included in the U.S. website; if you are interested in group tickets, you can order them off the main U.S.A. website.) I just heard on the radio that Cineplex is showing It’s a Wonderful Life on several screens on December 8th and 12th.