This week, in other sandboxes:

I interviewed a Catholic blogger who has a sense of humor and a cool blog name.

Why do you keep blogging? What’s your inspiration to continue?

At the core, I blog to put my ideas out there and help people realize that just because they aren’t slipping into prayerful ecstasy or sporting stigmata, that doesn’t mean God doesn’t love them – they too can be saints.

On a bad day, my ego pushes me to write, but I have to check it at the door before I write. My main inspiration is simply life (through the Holy Spirit of course).

I think I can speak for the whole Poser team when I say that there is a lot of ‘us’ in the articles we post. A lot of them are inspired simply by what God is doing in our lives that day/week/season.

I interviewed author Fiorella de Maria, whose new novel, Do No Harm, is one I highly recommend. Here’s a taste of that interview:

Sarah: Do No Harm is quite a novel, and it tackles issues that face us right now. Was there a moment when you knew you had to write it? What was your inspiration process like?

Fiorella: I always find that there is a particular moment when an idea starts to form in my mind for a story, but sometimes it occurs years before I finally start the process of writing. I was involved in the campaign against the Mental Capacity Act which was passed in Britain some years ago now and at one point, I was speaking at a conference in Rome and a doctor asked me what doctors in Britain were to do if they were presented with a living will instructing them to remove a patient’s food and fluids (so that the patient would dehydrate to death). As I answered, I think I used the words ‘under pain of an assault charge’ and I just thought, ‘But what if a doctor was charged? What would happen to him?’

Some years later, I was at another conference on end-of-life care and a young nurse asked a pro-euthanasia academic what she was to do if she were instructed to remove a patient’s food and fluids. He glibly answered, ‘Well, don’t worry. I think we’ll all just muddle through,’ but in medicine it is not always possible to ‘muddle through.’ Either the needle is inserted or it is not, either the tube is removed or it is not. I kept thinking how vulnerable and how alone a medical professional would be in such a situation. It was around that time that I started sketching out the plot and discussing it with friends.

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Pink tractors: what’s not to love? Oh yeah, and I have a pile o’ book talk too

Over at New Evangelizers:

Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed with the job in front of you?

As a parent, I know my job is to get my family to heaven. Which is a worthy goal and a never-ending task.

And completely impossible to succeed at on my own.

I can barely make it through the day without committing a confession-worthy sin. How exactly am I supposed to get OTHER PEOPLE to heaven?

Read the rest of “Being God’s Instrument”.