Monday, November 25, 2013


Book summary

Catching up with Daylight by Gail Kittleson makes a pleasant companion for this season of reflection. Snuggle near the fire with this volume, or give a friend a gift to . . .

celebrate the power of friendship

explore historical and contemporary passages from darkness to light

discover an ancient Benedictine meditation practice

re-experience the beauty of the present moment

                        rethink your favorite gospel stories

Many of us long for rest, as the author did while renovating an old house after her husband’s first deployment to Iraq. Yet a different hunger undergirded that desire: a hunger for wholeness.

No fast track exists to a closer walk with God, but the ancient Benedictine practice of Lectio Divina enhances and extends our times with our Creator. Allowing the Spirit to emphasize one word and ruminating on that word throughout the day empowers us to remain present for every moment, attentive to embrace all that God has for us.

Meet the author, Gail Kittleson 

Bio: After teaching expository writing and English as a Second Language, and facilitating grief and transition workshops for hospice and other caregiver organizations, Gail Kittleson has finally made writing her priority. She enjoys her family (married 35 years, delightful grandchildren), teaching a local memoir-writing class, and writing. Her nonfiction (Catching Up With Daylight/WhiteFire Publishing) and fiction (Historical Women's Fiction (1800'2)  andWorld War II era--still in the works) share consistent themes—personal growth through life's challenges, finding one's voice, and gratitude.

My friend Carol recently discovered she faced a double mastectomy. A day or so later, she did some journaling to vent about an unrelated issue that had niggled at her for many years. When she read her rant to her husband, she said, "Boy, it feels good to get that off my chest." 

         He looked at her and responded, "Be careful what you say."

Our memoir-writing class cracked up when Carol shared this story. She and her husband, known for their mutual respect and a lifetime overflowing with humorous anecdotes, have encouraged me so many times. 

         It's not that they suffer less than others, or that their life has been the proverbial bowl of cherries. But Carol's ever-present sense of humor finds something positive in every situation. How many people do you know who could make a self-effacing joke about a nasty pending surgery? 

         All this to say that humor often slides in to cheer us, even when nothing else can. I don't know about everyone else, but I sometimes have to work at seeing the funny side of things. This is true in my writing, too. 

         What fun, after years of honing fiction writing skills, to have created a couple of characters with a natural humorous side. This manuscript has yet to receive "The CALL," but even the act of creating a middle-aged widower who falls for his neighbor lady, a recent widow, has given me satisfaction. 

Al, an all-around great guy with the ability to laugh at himself, also has enough nervousness left from his WWI service to last a lifetime. The juxtaposition of these two characteristics intrigues me—of course, I hope Al will some day intrigue readers, too.

I'd like to develop more humor about publishing in general—it's such a tense arena these days. A bit of humor helps—being fraught with worry certainly does no good.  

My recent nonfiction release, Catching Up With Daylight, focuses on several Gospel stories of divine reassurance from unlikely sources, highlighting the importance of living in the present moment. The ability to laugh at a moment’s notice is part and parcel of that goal. I wonder if, later in life, the disciples were able to chuckle a little, looking back at their zany experiences with Jesus?

         When has fresh humor, possibly from an unexpected source, given you a boost?

Gail Kittleson