Monday, July 28, 2008

The Midnight Dancers reviewed on HollywoodJesus.com and Shelfari


There's a review up of The Midnight Dancers on HollywoodJesus.com. Go take a look and feel free to add your comments to the review. The same review is quoted on the Shelfari site: if you're a member of that site, please feel free to rate and comment on The Midnight Dancers there. Thanks for your comments!

"Paul" responds to "his" book

Some of you know that I based Paul Fester (of Waking Rose and The Midnight Dancers) on a two of my friends (and several of my brothers!). One of the "Pauls" is my friend Ben Hatke, who probably gets identified more as Paul than the others because he juggles and loves ninjas (but he is not in the Army, or a med student, and he married a girl very much like Rose Brier). Ben read the manuscript of The Midnight Dancers ages ago, but he just read the published version this past weekend, and sent me this email. Thought you might enjoy it, and it made me laugh.

To: regina doman
Subject: You Ruined Everything!

Not really. But I did stay up till 1:30 reading your book. Even though I knew the ending -which must mean it's pretty good. And so this morning I woke up late, and grouchy and tired. You see the awful power you have over peoples lives? Please, please use it for good. Write books that are easily cast aside. I suggest a nice dictionary, or "how to" book.

Anyway, I enjoyed all the changes/developments -even though there were actually fewer differences in this draft than I expected there would be. So thanks! This is definitely my favorite of your fairy-tale series. I hope there is more in store! But, as you know, I am a sucker for ANYTHING with a batman-esque scene like where Paul disappears into the shadows and Rachel says "thank you" even though she's not sure if he's there or not.

--ben

Thanks Ben! I promise to use my powers for good, but of course that will result in a conflict of interest between being true to my talent and the public's need to finish their homework assignments.... ;)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Midnight Dancers Reviewed on Experimental Living

Another cool review from Sarah Modene has appeared on her blog Experimental Living. Here's a snippet:

What I most appreciated, however, was Ms. Doman’s portrayal of how legalism can achieve the exact opposite of the purpose its proponents pursue. Restriction and suffocating rules are almost always the cause of downfall within conservative Christian circles. I hesitate to call these denominations- or cults, if you will- Christian, as the doctrines they promote are hardly in line with the Bible’s message of love, holy ambition, and evangelism. Ms. Doman effectively reveals the emotional and spiritual havoc wreaked on the lives of the children whose parents are sucked into legalistic circles.
Of course, legalism isn’t only to blame. But it certainly is a driving force in the numbers of “Christian” teens and young adults turning to darkness instead of light. Read more...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Twilight Review by me

Many of you have asked me my thoughts on Stephenie Meyer's vampire book series, starting with Twilight. I finally got around to reading them for HollywoodJesus.com as a review series anticipating the release of the new book, Breaking Dawn, out August 2.

My reactions to the series are mixed: I want to see where she's going with the series and whether or not she intends to do something more than write a very clever romance-fantasy series. Here's a snippet of my review:

Is it a parable? Or is it just a romance story? Is Meyer exploiting a choice dramatic situation or trying to tap some kind of message? Hard to tell. Twilight, determined by Bella’s first-person narrative point of view, could be female fantasy no deeper than shimmers in a puddle. And the book gives ample room to voice the conventional young-romance mix of sex, love, and death-longing, the recurring theme of so much teen poetry and art and rock songs: you can practically see the movie posters and hear the sound track already as you read it. But Edward, the moral compass of the story for all of his toying and sarcasm, might be the way for the author to angle in on a deeper meaning about male and female sexuality.... read more.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Conference


For any of you who are near Front Royal, on Friday and Saturday I'll be attending this conference as a vendor at the New Hope Baptist Church. The conference focuses on the three stages of a woman's life: maidenhood, childbirth, and menopause. I'll be selling Angel in the Waters, of course, but I'll also have my Fairy Tale Novels on hand. If you like, come by the church during the vendor times and I'll sign a book for you! Please spread the word to anyone you think would be interested.


Fearfully & Wonderfully Made Conference

Schedule:
Friday, July 18 – for women of all ages:
8:00 – 8:45 Registration/Vendor Time
9:00 – 9:50 Introduction to Blessings God's Way

10:00 – 10:50 Women Serving Women

11:00 – 12:00 Celebrating Womanhood

12:00 – 1:00 LUNCH – Vendor Time!

1:00 – 1:50 Erasing Fear

2:00 – 2:50 How to Mentor

3:00 – 3:50 Trusting God’s Design

4:00 – 5:00 Breakout Session – Q & A

Saturday, July 19 – for Mothers and Daughters:
8:00 – 8:45 Registration/Vendor Time

9:00 – 12:00 Maidens by His Design Workshop

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch – Vendor Time

1:00 – 3:45 Maidens by His Design Workshop

4:00 – 5:00 Creative Memory Paper Album Craft Time


From Doran Richards, conference organizer: We will be making sample Red Raspberry Leaf Tea and having breaks and Q & A time with so many other fun things… great bonding time with our daughters! We will take a class photo in the morning on Saturday – have developed during the day and will have them for our paper album craft for the girls to have a great memory of their day out!
Please pass on to your friends, family, homeschool group and organizations. Thank you and hope to see you there!

Join us for our conference: July 18, 19, 2008 - for women of all ages!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Hatke/Lozano book!



Just had to tell you all that Ben Hatke, my illustrator for Angel in the Waters, has done another tremendous book with author Neal Lozano. Check out this sweet children's book, What Can I Give God?

It's the third one in Neal's series of "blessing" books for kids: the first two are Will You Bless Me? and Can God See Me in the Dark? As usual, the books are quality hardcovers with handsome typesetting.

I love Ben's illustrations of Christ and Our Lady in particular as Lozano retells the Gospel story of the loaves and fishes. If you have a chance, check out the website at www.willyoublessme.com.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Remembering the Girards

On July 5th, I had the honor of attending the funeral for Thom and Marc Girard. It was by far one of the most profound funerals I have ever been to.

I discovered that for Thom and Marc, Catholic knighthood was not a fuzzy, abstract concept, but a real way of life. One lament of modern men is that today's lifestyle provides no "initiation" for men, no moment at which boys can say, "Now I am a man." Thom didn't merely regret this fact: he actively sought to change it by creating a Catholic initiation for boys, including endurance tests and skill training. Marc had just completed the course and two weeks before his death, he was "knighted" by a Franciscan priest and vowed to always defend the Catholic faith and serve Christ and Mary.

As the Franciscan father read aloud at the funeral the vows Thom had written whic Marc had made, I was moved to tears, as were many in the church, by the daringness and beauty of them. I will go so far as to call Thom Giard a cultural genius for being bold enough to incarnate his ideals into an actual way of life. Marc was laid to rest in chain mail, and Thom was buried with the great sword of the Franciscan friary, which they gave to him in honor of his service to Catholic men.

And as I watched other new ceremonies unfold: the flying of a Marian banner over the coffins in the cemetery: the formal presentation of the widow of the deceased with a white banner as a commemoration of the departed: I was not the only one who felt that a significant moment in the recreation of Catholic manhood had just taken place.

One of the friars there present wrote:

All of us, including myself, take so much for granted. I was always so busy that I did not give Thom nearly the amount of time I should have. My loss.

The grace of our consecration to Our Lady we also take for granted. So much more could be done with a knighthood based on Marian Chivalry. Time is too short not to see this. The men have pulled together in the last week in the face of this tremendous loss. It is my prayer that we recognize this grace for what it really is and not let the hour of our visitation pass...

We are all looking for something transcendent and beautiful in life. Thom and Marc have gone before is in finding it. We have also, in a sense, found it too. It certainly hasn’t been what we expected, but I for one treasure not only memories of the last week, but the overwhelming providence of God hidden just beneath the sorrow. We cannot forget or become complacent, too much has been lost in the service of our Queen and too much is at stake. To arms, then, in the service of the Queen.

I hope that this is indeed a new birth for Catholic knighthood. I also feel I've been complacent in my own consecration to our Lady, and in the work she has for me to do. Please join me in praying for all Catholic men, and in thanking God for the gift of Marc and Thom Girard.

To learn more about the Knights of the Lepanto, Thom's apostolate, click here.

I am continuing to accept donations to the Girard family. Please use the PayPal button above to donate, or send checks to The Girard Family Fund at Bank of America, 590 West Main St (Rt 82)Norwich, CT 06360.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Live Chat Tonight With the Catholic Writer's Guild!

Sorry for the late notice but tonight I'll be chatting online with the members of the Catholic Writer's Guild. If any of you are writers and haven't joined, consider this a great opportunity! Go to http://www.catholicwritersguild.org/ and follow the instructions at the top to join.

In tonight's chat, I'll be answering any questions about writing and publishing, but I'll specifically focus on my experience of self-publishing on Lulu this past year.

Those of you who are members, I hope to chat with you online tonight!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Joshua Michael July 26, 2001 - July 8, 2006

I loved him so much.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Passing of a Young Knight

Marc Girard, 18, looked like your ordinary Catholic teenager. But he was not.

He had a Facebook page. He was a part of the Fairy Tale Novel Forum (even though, like most guys, he hadn't read the books :) ). He was careless about spelling. He hated having his picture taken. His avatar was a man making funny faces. To his four younger siblings and to most of his friends, I am sure he sometimes seemed very ordinary. Even though he took his Catholic faith seriously, and sometimes challenged his high school friends on different issues.

His friend Paul Ethier was surprised when Marc told him that he was planning to join the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, who had a friary near the Girard home in Griswold, CT. Marc was accepted as a postulant, and was going to join the Maine, NY friary in August.

The Girard family had been through a lot. Last year they suffered two hardships in a row: first, their home burned down. The only thing in Marc's room that survived the fire was his picture of Padre Pio.

The family lived on a trailer through the winter, but then this spring, the property was foreclosed.


Marc's father Thomas was working hard to keep the family together. In his free time he helped the Friars of the Immaculate on their outreachs: this past spring he was "Grand Master" knight for their group, The Knights of Lepanto, as Catholic fathers and the friars "initiated" their sons into Catholic knighthood. The photo at the top shows Marc carrying a "penance pack" of 15 pounds of rocks during the "intiation."
Thomas found a new house for the family, and they were going to move on the first day of July, yesterday, in fact.
The day before the big move, Thomas took his two sons, Marc and Lucas and daughter Hannah swimming at a pond down the street from their old house. There was an island a short distance from the shore, and they decided to swim out to the island.

Marc took his younger brother Lucas, 11, along and they swam safely to the island. Mr. Girard took their daughter Hannah, age 7, in his arms and came along behind them.
Hearing his sister Hannah screaming, Marc turned back and the boys saw her bobbing in the water. Their father was gone. Marc stopped several feet before reaching the island. He sent Lucas ahead and went back for his father and Hannah.

Marc swam out to Hannah. He pushed her towards shore until she was safe, told her to pray, and then dove back in to find their father.
He died trying to save him.

Rescue personnel speculate that Mr. Girard died of a heart attack suffered while swimming. Marc was brought to the hospital, barely alive. His mother Carol, some of his friends, and the Friars of the Immaculata prayed with him. He received the Annointing of the Sick and was blessed with a relic of St. Padre Pio. Then at 1:50 AM, on the Feast of the Precious Blood, he died.

It is terrifying how fast death can come. Earlier this past month, Marc was on the forum (screen name: The Illustrious Marceg) and on his blog, joking and laughing with his friends, running for "President" on the forum against Barak Obama and Mr. Darcy, and offering "words of wisdom" about following one's vocation:

Peasant
member is offline
Joined: Feb 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 30
Re: Lord, what are You calling me to do?
Jun 19, 2008, 10:35am

I was so happy to find a thred wich focased on vocations. Just some words of wisdom, First, you are so right when you say long and short term vocation. Like being a good student was mine and being a good son, but now that I'm done with school. It's now to be a good son as well as a good friend. In August I will be leaving to enter the FI (Fransican Friars of the Immaculate) and am very excited about doing so. The thing is though, in my case, I'm almost poitive that this is Our Lords will for me, but as I grow closer and closer to the day i leave, I get spiritually attacked more and more (with emotions and worries such... I'm not talking about Emily Rose stuff ). I was warned by two very holy Friars about temptation and think it would be very helpful to everyone on this fourm especally for those who are looking into religious life. And that is that you will be tempted in ways you didn't think were possible, and if you do end up entering religious life it's still pretty hard. Its the transistion of being more contempt and 'unplugging' your self from the world. Many of the Saints went trough temptation and trial so just be prepaired and persivere. This also goes for those who are asking the question "what do you want from me". Satan will try to lead you against your vocation, just pray, hope, and don't worry and you'll end up doing His will.
Marc was ready to follow his call from God. But this week, he was called to be a hero. And he answered, without hesitation.

I am so sorry that Marc couldn't save his father, and that he couldn't save himself. But I am struck by his courage, and I will always remember him. Marc's friends were unanimous in calling him, immediately and from the start, a true knight.
I'm a novelist: I write modern adventures in which young adults carelessly tagged as "knights" and "ladies" battle modern demons and dragons. My friends and I play games and hold ceremonies similar to that of the Knights of the Lepanto: serious but always a bit tongue in cheek. We have to ask ourselves at some point: is any of it real? Are we really knights and ladies, or are we just moderns playing an odd game?



And then life overtakes us, and for a moment I recognize that for some of us at least, it is real. For Marc, it was real. He truly attained knighthood.
Just now I went on the Fairy Tale Forum and voted that Marc be elected president-forever of the Forum. Post mortem yes, but I think his qualifications are out of this world.

I love to write about young men who are heroes: it's one reason why I retell fairy tales. Marc Girard is a hero to me, a real knight of Our Lady and the Sacred Heart. I am so honored that he was part of our little online group and that our paths intersected for a short time.





Please pray for Carol Girard, and for the remaining children, Adam,17, Jaqueline, 15, Lucas, 11, and Hannah, 7. Pray especially for Lucas, who witnessed the entire tragedy.
As the Girard family has been under such financial stress, I can only imagine that this tragedy has left them even more at risk. I would like to ask the Christian community to consider helping them during this hard time. I know how much it helped our family when we suffered the loss of our son Joshua: please let this family know that they are not suffering alone.
Condolescences and donations can be sent to:
Carol Girard
c/o the Ethier Family
133 Lake Shore Drive
Pascoag, Rhode Island
02859
UPDATE: a fund has been set up for the Girards at the local Bank of America.
Bank of America
590 West Main St (Rt 82)
Norwich, CT 06360
Until I find out if they have a way to make donations online, I will continue to collect donations through my PayPal account and send them to the Bank of America fund.

My husband and I attended the funeral at St. Mary's Church in Connecticut. It was beautiful. I hope to post more about it later.

St. Padre Pio, pray for us. The first martyrs of Rome, pray for us.

For more about the Girard family, see this link from the Friars of the Immaculate.



Update: Since some of you have asked, by all means feel free to copy or excerpt this post for your own blog or email. And yes, the family does need financial help. If you would like to make a donation through Paypal, you can send a donation to me at regina@reginadoman.com. Attach a note saying that your donation is for the Girard family and specify the amount in your email. I will make sure it gets to them.

I am looking into finding out if they have a paypal account of their own that we can use instead: when I find out anything, I will post. But for now, feel free to use my address, and I will have the money sent to them. Thank you!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Midnight Dancers is on Amazon!



For those of you who have been waiting, you can get The Midnight Dancers through Amazon Merchants by clicking here.

And could I ask any of you who've read the book already to consider posting a review on Amazon? Feel free to just copy something you've already written about it (say, on your blog).

Oh, and if you have reviewed the book on your blog or website, please let me know! Email me at regina@reginadoman.com.