Friday, May 29, 2009

See My Brother At Creation 09!

I almost can't believe it, but my lil' brother Martin Doman is going to be leading worship for the Catholic Mass at the Creation 09 music festival. For those of you who've never heard of it before, Creation is a massive Christian music festival held in the hills of Pennsylvania, sort of like an annual Woodstock for Christians that typically showcases the top Christian bands in the country. I remember when I was back in middle school, my best friend, an evangelical Christian, raving about what a wonderful time she had when she went to Creation with her church youth group. I never dreamed my brother would be on stage there one day! I've long ago stopped following Christian music but I still have a soft spot in my heart for it. I admit I still listen to and enjoy such golden oldie artists as Dion, Don Francisco and The Imperials (I know, I have no sense of what's cool in music! My numerous musician-siblings are constantly telling me that!). I'm amazed and heartened to hear that Creation now offers a Catholic Mass on site for Catholic participants: it seems we've come a long way in relations with our separated brethren. And I'm pleased that festival attendees will get a chance to enjoy the vibrant and reverent music my brother creates and sings. So if you were planning on going to Creation, you can say hi to my brother for me. He's asking for prayers on his website: so I'll join in asking you to say a prayer for him too!

Friday, May 22, 2009

1st Ever Catholic Writer's Conference - register now!

Please spread the word about this cool conference I'm speaking at in August specifically for Catholic writers, especially fiction writers! I'll be speaking on problems with creating evil characters. Hope to meet you there!
Peace and good
Regina

M E D I A R E L E A S E

CONTACT: Ann Lewis Karina Fabian
Phone: (317) 755-2693 Phone: (701) 727-6662
E-mail: annlewis@joesystems.com e-mail: : karina@fabianspace.com
For Immediate Release

Catholic Writers Guild, Catholic Marketing Network Hold Writers’ Conference

Somerset, NJ--The Catholic Writers' Guild, in conjunction with the Catholic Marketing Network, will host its first-ever Catholic Writers’ Conference LIVE! at the Doubletree Hotel & Executive Meeting Center, Somerset, NJ, from Aug 5-7, 2009. The conference will host publishers, editors and authors from all aspects of the Catholic writing world, including magazines and devotionals, novels and educational materials. The panel discussions, presentations and workshops will cover all aspects of writing including generating query letters, crafting a good story, worldbuilding, marketing finished works and more. In addition, editors from several Catholic publishers will be on-hand to share their wisdom and hear authors propose their works.

The Catholic Marketing Network's International Trade Show, held at the neighboring Garden State Exhibition Center (http://www.gsec.com), will serve as the exhibition floor for the writers’ conference, giving writers a chance to browse the booths, meet with publishing companies, pitch their books to publishers, have their work critiqued at a private critique session and chat with the published authors at book signings at the Catholic Writers’ Guild booth. CMN will also be hosting daily Masses and rosaries at the Doubletree Hotel, and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at the exhibition center. Other CMN events including the seminars and inspirational talks scheduled for Tuesday, August 4 will be held at the Doubletree.

Presenters for the writers’ conference include: author/Sophia Press submissions editor Regina Doman (Angel in the Waters); Pauline Books and Media Editor Sister Maria Grace, CEO of Ignatius Press Mark Brumley (How Not to Share Your Faith), Susan Brinkmann editor of Canticle Magazine, Lisa Wheeler, Executive Vice President of the Maximus Group (PR and marketing firm for The Passion of the Christ), author/Ascension Press publisher Matt Pinto (Do Adam and Eve Have Belly Buttons?), Claudia Volkman, General Manager of Circle Press, Tom Hoopes, Executive Editor of the National Catholic Register, and mystery author John Desjarlais (Bleeder) among others.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for both writers and publishers to connect," said science fiction writer and Catholic Writer's Guild President, Karina Fabian. "The CMN has been especially generous in offering to share it facilities and programs with us, which really enhances the quality of the conference for attendee and presenter.”

Conference Coordinator and CWG Vice President Ann Lewis adds “There will be a lot of good information, encouragement and learning opportunities for Catholic authors at our live conference. Our goal is to help good Catholic writers to get published. The world needs their words.”

The Catholic Writers’ Guild has hosted two highly successful on-line conferences.
To register or for more information, go to www.catholicwritersconference.com. Registration is $80 through June 1st, $99 through July 31st and $110 at the door.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Trespasses is HERE!



And don't kill me when you finish it: all I can say is, Christian Frank is working hard on Book 3. :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Midnight Dancers Onstage!

A few weeks ago at the Milwaukee Homeschool Conference I was privileged to see the very first stage performance ever of one of my books, The Midnight Dancers.

Around Christmas, a group of Wisconsin homeschooled teens had approached me about adapting the book for the stage, and with their encouragement (or should I say, harassment!) and help, I managed to write a script for them based on the book, which they cut down to 50 minutes in order to meet the constraints of the conference time slot. The play was performed on Friday night during the conference and I was so impressed! Even with simple staging and costumes, the teeanged actors gave a performance of warmth, humor, and depth.
The leads in particular were phenomenal: the lead role of Paul Fester is so difficult I had wondered if it would be unperformable, and Rachel Durhams's part is so large that's she onstage and talking for nearly the entire play. But the teens who played Paul and Rachel mastered the parts wonderfully. I was particularly moved during two new speeches I wrote especially for the play: Paul's speech to Rachel on beauty, given during a nighttime garden scenes, and Rachel's speech to Paul after the whole adventure is over.


The actors who took on the parts of Colonel Durham and the villain, Michael Comus, were also wonderful. Michael Comus in particular was so creepy I squirmed every time he came onstage! And the other sisters -- from bookish Cheryl to ditsy Prisca to shy Melanie down to the perky youngest girls Debbie and Linette -- were perfectly cast. And they all assured me that they had a blast putting on the play! I can't tell you what a fantastic experience it was for me as an author to see my story being captured and brought to life in front of my eyes. Many thanks to this troupe of teens for that memorable experience.
Since I have a feeling other homeschool or youth groups might be interested in doing a performance of their own, I'm planning to offer the script for sale, as soon as I work out some kinks in it. I hope to offer the script for sale at http://www.fairytalenovels.com/ with this arrangement:


For a one-time performance right fee of $50, a small group can put on the play for an agreed-upon number of performances: performances they can charge admission for and make money on. (This way I don't have to worry about groups sending me a percentage of the sales, etc.) The performance fee will include a downloadable file of the script which they can print out and copy as many times as they need for their group.

Since I know that there aren't many plays out there that offer parts for twelve girls, I'm happy to be able to make The Midnight Dancers available for sale sometime this summer. If you are interested in getting a copy for your group, email me at regina@reginadoman.com and that will inspire me to finish my revisions sooner!
And just in case you're interested, I'm working on a similar stage adaptation of The Shadow of the Bear for another group, who has a smaller group without a lot of girls. So stay tuned for more details!

Friday, May 1, 2009

My Sister's First Solo Album

Allow me to share with you one of the great delights of my life.

For years, one of my favorite musical experiences has been to listen to my sister Alicia sing. (Alicia is two years younger than me but is taller and looks older than me, so most people assume she's the older one!) Her voice is my favorite kind of female voice -- high, strong, and clear. For years she's sung with choirs and as a backup singer for other professionals, and more than once she's been tapped as a soloist. But up until now, she's only sung on other people's CDs. If my memory is correct, I believe she's appeared as a soloist on four different albums thus far with three different groups.


But finally, she's come out with her own album, and I am so excited to be able to share her music with you. Her first album, Beloved, is now available from her website, http://www.aliciahernon.com/. Produced in conjunction with my brother Martin Doman (who sings backup and duet with her on several of the tracks), this album is dedicated to women in all stages of life, from girlhood to betrothal, from marriage to motherhood, from the grieving mother to the consecrated religious. It is, fittingly enough, titled Beloved, to emphasize that all women, at every stage of life, are beloved by Christ.

Alicia (who, unlike me, publishes under her married name, Hernon: not her maiden name, Doman) considers herself a singer, not a songwriter or composer. She surmises this by comparing herself to the various composers, musicians, and songwriters she's worked with over the years, including those she's related to. But I think she's mistaken to undervalue her talent as a songwriter, and, lucky for us, the more than half of Beloved are her original compositions. Perhaps Alicia hasn't written many songs, but the ones she has written are a handful of gems, beautifully constructed, memorable, loved by many, and sung in Alicia's unfailingly lovely voice.

Since it's not every day that Alicia produces an album, and since this one is long-overdue, forgive me if I treat you to an in-depth review of my all-time favorite singer/musician/songwriter who also happens to be my sister.


First track on the album is The Cry of the Beloved, which Alicia wrote as a mere college student but which has become a perennial favorite and even became the title track of a Steubenville conference album. It's known more popularly in some circles as "Draw Me, O King": the lyrics are based on the first chapter of the Song of Songs.

Draw Me, O King! I will follow you eagerly:

draw me, O King, to your rooms!

The love that you give is sweeter than wine:

how rightly you are loved!

How rightly you are loved!

The chorus has a sprightly melodic line, and it's been used as a responsorial psalm in more than a few weddings, including my own. :) This is the third time Alicia has been asked to record this song, and this version, with my brother Martin Doman singing backup, will not disappoint old fans and will hopefully win many new ones. My ultimate dream is to see this song incorporated into Catholic hymnals. To hear a clip, click here.


Second track, another fruit from Alicia's college years was a growth in her devotion to Our Lady. And from this meditation and love came another gem, the deceptively simple and utterly passionate song, Maria. The song's verses consist of the first parts of three of the most popular prayers to Our Lady: the Hail Mary, Hail Holy Queen, and Memorarae: the chorus contains variations on the Litany of Loretto together with the heartfelt cry: Maria! It sounds so easily constructed, but the combination is a breathtaking solo piece that few forget once they've heard it. To hear a clip, click here. To see Alicia's thoughts on this song, click here.


The third piece on the album is a duet for engaged couples, sung with my brother Martin, called The Ring. True disclosure: this song is based on a poem I wrote of the same name. I've been trying to recall why I wrote it and for whom, but shortly after I wrote it, Alicia set it to music, making it a far more beautiful creation than it was originally. This is one of the few songs that currently doesn't have a sample track on Alicia's website, but perhaps Alicia will post it soon. Here are the lyrics of the original poem, which don't quite capture the intricate interplay of harmonizing and voices that you will hear on the CD:


The Ring

My sister, I ask you in this hour
Unfolding with the morning flower,
to stand with me and make a vow.
No more shall you be freedom's slave
but since your life you freely gave,
take servanthood in freedom now.
The ring, the round of eternity,
I place on your hand, I give to thee,
a symbol of your love for me.


A promise drawn out through fire and sand
Now gleams in silver on your hand
Eternity that enshrines your finger,
I stand to be yours as life is long:
clasp my hand, and be my singer.
Draw near to me and be my song.
The ring, surpassing old and new,
clings to your hand just as I do:
a symbol of my love for you.


copyright 1991, Regina Doman.



I know I had originally thought of it as a song sung by Christ to the devout soul (hence the term 'servanthood' in the first verse) but Alicia's arrangement has been used to celebrate weddings and anniversaries, where servanthood would refer to the mutual submission found in marriage. I suppose the first verse could be sung twice, with the appellation, "My brother..." to emphasize this.


Fourth track: You're the One. I absolutely love this song, a recent composition by Alicia for her husband, Michael. This song so wonderfully captures their deep friendship and romantic love: and I know that others will see their own marriage in its easily-hummable lyrics. You have to hear it.


Fifth track: Conquer Me. I have been waiting to hear this song again for years. In 1997, when my daughter Rose was baptized, Alicia sang this song after the baptism. The lyrics are from the mystic Hadewijch of Belgium, and Alicia was so moved by them, she set them to music. Any woman, any soul who yearns for union with God, who wishes that God could overcome all the inner resistance and residue of sin and selfishness within them will appreciate this song. I'm just delighted to have a recorded version of the song I've been humming now and again to myself for these past twelve years! Enjoy! To hear a clip of this song, click here.


Sixth track: "Talitha Cumi." Alicia was kind enough to dedicate this song to me, as well as to all mothers who've suffered loss. Another duet by Alicia and Martin, this song is a poem written by a woman to her child who died. A heartfelt reflection on Christ's words to the little girl he raised from the dead. To hear a clip of this song, click here



Seventh track: Up to the Moon. This song by Kim Hill captures my sister's love for her children. Alicia is one of the most motherly persons I know, and her love of music and motherhood is manifested in her eight highly musical children and her years of teaching Kindermusik classes to young children. When Alicia sings to children, she's most in her element. But next time, I'd like to hear her record one of her own original lullabies.


Eighth track: As I Kneel. As befitting an album that has so much to say about women, children, and motherhood, Alicia included this traditional hymn to our Lady, sung with her little daughter Maggie. If you're not familiar with this enchanting song, this version is an excellent introduction.


Ninth Track: The final rousing psalm, "Give Thanks to the Lord" reflects Alicia's committment to her parish music ministry: a fellow singer set this Psalm to music for their parish Easter Vigil, and Alicia loved it so much she decided to record it. It gives the entire CD a liturgical coda, bringing us from the individual soul to the embrace of Mother Church praising her Bridegroom.


Bonus Track: Scripture Medley. Not only does Alicia teach Kindermusik, help with her parish choir, she also homeschooled for many years. In order to help her children memorize Scripture, she set several short verses to music. While this track departs from the meditative soft music of the rest on the CD, it's enjoyable to hear Alicia interacting with her children and being a mom, coaching them to give a spirited rendition of "Children, obey your parents" and "Be holy, for the Lord your God is holy." The last song, an old favorite camp song, "Rejoice in the Lord always" is a fun ending to an enjoyable solo album.


Alicia writes on her website, "by her very nature, a woman is made to give herself away." As if to emphasize this, although this CD is $18 post-paid, all profits from album will be donated to pro-life causes. So please, visit http://www.aliciahernon.com/ and take a listen to the clips. If you like what you hear, feel free to buy a copy. And please spread the word! Thanks!