Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:

One of my favorite themes is the vocation of the artist. In fact, I’ve been working on a book about how my life came to be ordered to art: part memoir, part invitation, part supplication to up-and-coming writers.

In a nutshell, my message is this: Figure out a way to earn a humane living, write about what moves you, and pay no attention to passing trends.

Near the end of 2009, for example, I felt that my work was not bearing fruit. I felt like all my efforts to “get my work out there” had come to naught.

One morning, with very little conscious thought, I simply sat down, went to, came up with a spur-of-the-moment title, for a header put up the photo of the Jesus statue from Elvis’ bedroom I’d snapped on my Motorola Razr a few years ago at Graceland, and started writing.



  1. Wow, Heather, this was so timely for me, since I question what the heck I’m doing. This morning I read this in one of Newman’s excellent sermons: “To the true Christian the world assumes another and more interesting appearance; it is no longer a stage for the great and noble, for the ambitious to fret in, and the wealthy to revel in; but it is a scene of probation. Every soul is a candidate for immortality.”

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Beautiful quote, thanks Ron–right, the artist’s life is not for the faint of heart!

  2. Think you nailed it. Contentment is a gift that always surprises. If I want it and look too hard for it, it passes me by, smiling as it passes, probably staring right into my face and I’m completely oblivious. Slowing down and praying the kyrie for mercy helps.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Ah ha, I detect possibly Pamela’s husband?! We kiss joy as it flies, said William Blake…
      Welcome–and you are so right–always mercy, we pray…

  3. No matter what you write about I enjoy it. So please keep up the good work you do.

  4. Michael Stanley says: Reply

    Many of the words Yeshua (Jesus) uttered were not simply His espousing true and exposing false theological doctrine, but formulating real promises that He offered to fulfill to anyone, at any time, who is willing to hear and obey. The verse that came into my mind as I read your post was “Come unto me all ye who labor and I will give you rest.” While we correctly interpret “labor” in this verse as struggling or burdened, but in the context of your post I realized that your “labor of love” has not only given you rest (shalom), but purpose, confidence and a trust that can only be attained through faith and faithfulness. And we, your readers, benefit from not only your labors, but also indirectly from your reward as you are no doubt able to bear sweeter and more abundant fruit as a result of your shalom. Thank you.
    Well done good and faithful servant.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Blessings and thanks, Michael. You’re right: the work does bring a kind of trust (in God) and confidence–not so much in myself but that I at least desire to learn how to love and to serve. Though in one way the work is all “nothing,” a widow’s mite, I take it as a huge responsibility. On the one hand, we wear the world like a loose garment; on the other, the stakes are life and death…

  5. You come from a wide range of interests and always, always pithy commentary.

    If you do ever come back to South Dakota, I hope I’ll get to meet you again.

    I hope you enjoy your last days of Easter and prepare for the next few weeks of solemnities!

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Ah yes, Angela, South Dakota has a place in my heart…have been there a few times: once on a road trip, once for an ordination, once for my talk at St. Lambert’s….all lovely. These days of Easter with Revelation and the Gospel of John for daily liturgy are so RICH! Blessings to you…

  6. Anonymous says: Reply

    Heather! Thank you for this! I was just recently wondering when I started reading your blog, and how I found it. It must have been near the beginning, in 2009. I loved blogs when I finally discovered them, a whole word of fellow travelers who revealed me to myself by revealing themselves. I called them my Catholic mommy bloggers, although not all were mommies and not all were Catholic. And you have the staying power, friend. I have followed you ever since, with your books and now youtubes. Thank you, thank you. I wish you were my neighbor.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Ha, yes, I think I started the blog around 2010…the blog or whatever it is/has become…I love hearing from people who have been following silently along, and for now anyway the YouTubes seems to be part of it…everything feeds off everything else…a world of fellow travelers is what I’ve always dreamed of, so thank you for being one of them!

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