I’m slowly working my way down a list of things to get done.
I’m trying really hard to not start any new projects this year. Instead, I’m trying to finishing a bunch of things that I had started but never actually completed.
Chief among those are the Anglican Breviary project and the upgrade to the breviary which I started on but got stuck in the middle.
An important part of deciding what to do is also deciding what not to do. The Anglican Breviary domain is expiring, and I’m trying to make the decision whether to renew that and continue that project in the way I had been, or to move it into a different space. We’ll see… I’m also still paying for the podcast service even though I haven’t been actively podcasting for a while. As much as I enjoyed that project, I don’t know if it’s worth continuing in its current incarnation. It served a particular role in my research for the Cassiodorus books. With the first volume done, I’m evaluating whether it’s an effective use of time.
Good news—the full draft of the long-awaited (and overdue) Cassiodorus book is done! The bad news is that I need to cut out about 14,000 words before I can send it off to the publisher. I’ve already identified some sections that need to go, and some that can be slimmed down, and a few sections rendered redundant by the course of chapters shifting while writing.
Some of the material is fun and interesting, but just won’t fit; as I trim I may post some of it here. It may not make it into the final work, but at least somebody will get to read it!
As I try to finish these two books, I find that I simply have too many balls in the air. I’m essentially writing full-time, I’m holding down a full-time as a corporate IT guy, I’m driving the kids to activities every day, I’m supporting M as she settles into her position as rector, and keeping up with chores around the house—and it’s too much. My maintenance activities (prayer, meditation, fitness) are slipping. I need to cut things back to a manageable level and do those things that best align with my long-term goals.
So, after quite a bit of thought and prayer, one of the things I’ve let go of is my work on the Standing Commission for Liturgy and Music. I think I did good work while I was on it, and would have liked to do more, but the cost in terms of time and emotional energy didn’t make it a good investment for me. For those concerned about the direction of the Commission in light of the prayer book revision resolution, don’t be. The preparation for a plan for a process of (possible) revision are already fixed into position, and I think are moving in good and sensible ways that will offer some logical options to General Convention.
Thus, I think things will be ok there for the remainder of the triennium ( and I was set to roll off at the end of it anyway…). Please do keep the members of the SCLM in your prayers, that their work will be a blessing to the whole church.
There were articles up at Covenant the past couple of days that I’d like to respond to (This one by the Bishop of Dallas which implicitly defines “traditionalist” in an exceedingly narrow fashion, and this one by Zach that begins by quoting me) but I must refrain for now.
I had a conversation with my publisher yesterday: the Cassiodorus books are late and he’s not happy…
So—from now until their hopefully swift completion it’ll be all Cassiodorus, all the time. I’m letting a number of things go in order to make this happen which I don’t necessarily want to do but which I have to do. If you email me, please be aware it might be a while before I get back to you…
As M and I were discuss this last night, I said I felt like I was girding myself for a marathon. After a moment’s reflection, we both knew that wasn’t it. We both run them: a marathon is a pain but it’s over in less than four hours (quite a bit less for her!). She said, “No, this is a stage race–because you need to put in sustained effort over many days.” We ended up dubbing this push the Tour de Cassiodorus.
Hence, I’ll be going into hiding now. I am intending to post some stuff here to gauge reader reaction, but know in advance it will be patristic and psalm-y.
I’ve been in duck mode for about the past month or so. All is quiet, but there’s massive amounts of churn below the surface… Hopefully this will be coming to an end very soon. Here are some of the things in progress:
- I’m finishing up a major software project which is where most of my time has been focused.
- I’ll soon be debuting a brand-new code-base at the breviary. Most of the code changes I’ve made at the breviary over the years have been fairly small and incremental. This isn’t. I’m seeing more evidence of complications with the preferences, especially with iDevices. This change should resolve that and should make navigating the options easier and cleaner. I will retain the “classic” format as the main entry point to the breviary, but will put up copious links to the new method and invite input. Additions/corrections will occur there until I’m happy with it, then that will become the default. I will likely keep the classic version somewhere as a backup.
- The St Bede Psalmcast will resume from its hiatus.
- In concert with that, I’ll be posting a lot more as I dive head first into the Cassiodorus/Psalms book projects.
- Speaking of books—I’m now hearing June from the Forward Movement folks on the prayer book spirituality book, but I’ve seen cover art and internal layout! It looks fantastic, and can’t wait to share more…
- Standing Commission on Liturgy & Music meetings have been happening, I’m again co-chairing the Calendar subcommittee and have some things to say about that. I’m also part of the subcommittee to discuss a plan for the process of revising the BCP. And, yes, I have thoughts there too…
But remember, all of this is my “spare time” stuff! The day job continues, dance competitions are springing up all over the calendar, and M will be starting her new job as rector of a parish in the area on Monday!
Pray for us…
As Lent swiftly approaches, here are a few things to remind you about as you consider how to keep a holy Lent…
- Forward Movement has launched a new faith-in-families resource site called GrowChristians.org. Fr now, it’s conceived as a Lenten trial. If the responses is good, it may well continue on. I’m offering a “dad voice” and my first post—thinking about taking kids to Ash Wednesday services—is up. Take a read, and leave a comment!
- Speaking of Forward Movement… I have been recruited this year as a Celebrity Blogger! I know there are mixed feelings around Lent Madness. While I’m sensitive to and agree with some of the criticism of it, I think its merits far outweigh its flaws. It is a great way to engage a lot of people in thinking about heroes of the faith, how and why they matter, and doing some solid education in a fun way.
- For a more “out of the box” experience, check out the Lenten resources at the Godspace/Mustard Seed Alliance site where I also do some writing.
- I’m going to continue focusing on intentionality, and I’m really stoked about the Lenten series on Rules of Life from the brothers at SSJEOnline. Not everyone is called to the monastic life, but our embedded expressions of monastic life from groups like the Society of St. John the Evangelist, Order of the Holy Cross, the Order of Julian of Norwich and others have valuable lessons for the whole church about the place of prayer and contemplation with an increasingly crazy world.
- Last but not least, the St. Bede Breviary offers a full round of Daily Offices plus votives and the Great Litany. I’m planning some improvements that will probably appear in Lent, so don;t be surprised of things are a little different over there!
We just returned from the summer’s second major trip; M was doing the triathlon national championships in Wisconsin. I’d hoped to see some blog folks while we were up there, but between race preparations and managing children very little of that actually happened…
However, others were busy while I was gone and I returned to find that the new episode of The Collect Call is up—and I’m on it! I’m talking about the collect for the Holy Eucharist with Brendan and Holli, and stray off into other topics as well. Communion without Baptism, alien abduction, the usual… Check it out!
I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things after General Convention. Family vacation began just as Convention ended so that’s giving me time away to think on things—and to not think on them as well. I’ll begin posting more on post-convention reflections in a bit. However, given that Great Cloud of Witnesses is to be made available and Weekday Eucharistic Propers has been authorized, it now falls to me to get them pulled together and sent off to Church Publishing. That, in addition to all of the usual stuff, will occupy me for as while…
As will a new writing project that I’ll talk about in a bit; Liturgical Press and I have signed a deal on a follow-up project to my most recent book, Reading Matthew with Monks. It’s not a direct follow-on—I’ll be going a bit further back than the Anglo-Saxon period, but Ælfric and his friends will probably make a least a cameo appearance or two. More on this later.
In the meantime, I’ve discovered that with the format change and general shifting around at the Episcopal Cafe, many of the pieces I wrote over there have since disappeared. For some of them, that’s no great loss; others I would like to have around in some form so I’ll likely repost here material that first appeared a while ago over there.
I told myself that I’d start writing things here more…
Yeah—well. That hasn’t happened recently the way I’d like it to. That’ll change!
I’m hip-deep in a response to the MCC/Fully Alive proposal responding to the work of the Marriage Taskforce, and it’s taking up all of my free cycles at the moment. Additionally, school is winding down which means the girls will be underfoot once again in an increasing amount!
However, I do have some things I need to get written here in fairly short order. At the top of the list is a response to Scott Gunn’s posts (Liturgy and Music I and Liturgy and Music II) on the SCLM resolutions for General Convention. Look for these to appear later this week!
Still fussing with some stuff to make sure that everything is fully functional.
Could someone post some comments here? I haven’t seen any yet, and want to make sure that’s working properly. If you’re trying to but are unable, please shoot me a note at haligweorc(at)hotmail(dot)com.