Monday, March 31, 2008

Peoria's Blue Knights Boys' Club

Many, many thanks to Bill Berlinger for sharing some ideas about how he and his co-leader, Dave Ruppert, run their Blue Knights Boys' Club. Ecce Homo Press will be publishing Bill and Dave's ideas in an upcoming game book. In the mean time, Bill has agreed to share his ideas with you. I'll be posting his ideas over several days, but the'll be saved in the archives. Feel free to comment on the posts to let Bill know what you think of them.

Bill says, "Here's an outline of a typical day (about 2 hours). Because of the process of designing and creating the games and to maintain a quality level, we've found it important to do the meetings at one of two houses, ours or David's. That seems to be a good balance to share the burden of building the games and hosting the meeting. We had seen a local Blue Knight club fail from lack of structure and maintaining interest of both boys and their dads. We recognized that dads have a high level of attention deficit disorder themselves. So, the ladies of the household help get coffee and popcorn ready as the dads roll in on a Saturday morning with their knights. We've developed a communication style that evokes a medieval atmosphere. We refer to the boys as "Sir Matthew" or "Sir Johnny" or "Sir Paul". Dads are "Lord Daddy" and moms are "Lady Mom". Sometimes, if the last name is interesting we'll have a "Lady Conley", or David Rupert is referred to as "Lord of the Game". Younger siblings are encouraged to participate. When they're old enough to sit through a meeting, we allow them to play the game and be referred to as "Squire"...a Knight in training. My monthly email reminder is the week before the meeting and is called the, "Proclamation from the Realm". It is brought to the Lord's, Ladies and Knight via "cyber carrier pidgeon". I guess you get the idea...the boys love it. A copy of each communication is sent to our parish assistant pastor, who is our spiritual director. The dads really get into the play acting, as well. The most remarkable thing to me is how both the dads and boys have becoming very good friends although we come from very diverse cultures and financial means." be con'd.....

Saturday, March 29, 2008

New Craft Book by Ann Ball!

Here's a new book by EHP author Ann Ball that would be a great resource for Blue Knights Boys' Club Leaders looking for some supplemental crafts. Click on the book for ordering information from Our Sunday Visitor. For some great exerpts from the book, go to Ann Ball's website.

Ann wrote Jose Finds the King, a Blessed Miguel Pro Story which is part of the Glory of America Series. This is a great children's story about Ann's favorite saint. This is also a great First Communion story perfect for boys. Click here for ordering information.

Monday, March 17, 2008

For You Writers: Free Online Conference

Catholic Writers to Hold Online Conference

World Wide Web--Writers, editors, agents, and other publishing professionals from around the world are gearing up for the first annual Catholic Writers’ Conference Online, which will be held May 2-9, 2008, and is sponsored by the Catholic Writer’s Guild and Canticle magazine. The online conference is free of charge and open to writers of all levels for those who register by April 25.
Tim Drake, veteran journalist who will be presenting at the conference, says he thinks the conference is worthwhile for all faith-based writers. “I think writers of every stripe, from beginners to seasoned veterans, can always stand to learn something new. This conference provides an opportunity to learn a few tricks of the trade, without having to spend an arm and a leg to get there.”
Author and editor Carolyn Howard-Johnson, who with conference chair Karina Fabian will be conducting seminars designed to help authors put their “Best Book Forward,” concurs. “It's never too early to learn more about what we love…. When we put ourselves out there, the universe seems to bring us exactly what we need. When we close down on opportunity for whatever reason, we miss getting what we should.”
New seminar and chat topics are being added constantly, including seminars on character and dialogue development, virtual book tours, how to get grants and other money with your writing, trends in fiction, world building, and connecting with a secular audience. Presenters and chat hosts include Vinita Wright (Loyola Press), Maya Bohnhoff, Tim Powers, Mark Shea (Catholic Answers), Hope Clark (Funds for Writers), Sr. Madonna Radcliff (Pauline Books & Media), Bert Ghezzi (Word Among Us), and Brian Saint-Paul (Crisis/Inside Catholic).
“We’re very happy with the caliber of publishing professionals who have volunteered to participate in this first conference,” says event co-chair Heidi Hess Saxton, editor of Canticle magazine. “There is a nice mix of fiction and non-fiction as well as book and magazine publishing represented here. Something for everyone … and you can’t beat the price!” Although the conference is offered free of charge, donations are accepted; proceeds will go toward future conferences.
Hope Clark, author of “Funds for Writers” is also optimistic about the event’s success. “I see writers … unable to run from conference to conference, seated before a computer soaking up information, taking notes, excited about finding answers to questions they didn't even know they had. I see writers walking away from this conference excited again about being writers.”
Early registration is recommended, as some courses will have limited openings that will be filled on a first-come, first serve basis. To register or for more information, go to

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Catholic Magazine for Kids

[St. Mary's Messenger, A new Catholic magazine for children!]

My kids love My Friend Magazine by the Daughters of St. Paul and really missed it when it ceased publication last year. So I was thrilled to learn of this new project. At present, they are gauging interest to present possible subscription numbers to publishers. If you have a minute, click on the banner above and fill out the interest form. There is no obligation and no money involved. I'm sure they could also use your prayers for a successful apostolate!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Intro: Karina Fabian

Hello! Joan was kind enough to invite me to join this blog. As most you of probably know, I wrote the Little Flowers and Blue Knights Craft books. I did this mainly as a fun project to share with my kids, and the illustrations you see in the books are done by them. (My seven-year-old likes to brag to his friends at school that he's a famous model on the cover of a book!)

What you may not know is that this was a an enjoyable sideline in my writing career. For many years, I wrote articles on parenting and pregnancy and in 2003, made the decision to devote my efforts to fiction. Currently, I have a Catholic anthology of science fiction out. Infinite Space, Infinite God won the 2007 EPPIE for best sci-fi and has garnered great reviews in magazines like St. Anthony Messenger and SFRevu. I've had many people comment on the thought-provoking nature of the stories and one homeschooling mom say that she thinks it’s a must for Catholic teens to read because of the issues presented. I'm working on a study guide for it now and should have it up in April. Check it out at

Also on the SF-side, I have Leaps of Faith, an anthology of Christian sci-fi, and the contract for Infinite Space, Infinite God II. (Are you w writer? We're looking for stories. Find guidelines at In addition, I'm working on novels and stories about my order of nuns who perform search and rescue operations in space. I have several Rescue Sisters stories in our anthologies and a novel in the works. (No contract yet, alas.)

On the fantasy side, I have a lot of fun with my noir-style dragon detective, Vern of DragonEye, PI. He's a down-and-out professional problem solver on the wrong side of the Interdimensiaonal Gap working off a geas by St. George by serving God and His creatures through the Faerie Catholic Church. With his partner, Sister Grace, he solves crimes, find missing objects, saves the world...whatever pays. Check out his website at

Finally, I'm involved in several writing groups, most especially the Catholic Writers Guild, where I am president. I also present workshops at online conferences. In fact, I'll blog next week about the Catholic Writers Conference Online. In the meantime, if you're interested, check out

I'm toying with the idea of a trivia game for Little Flowers. Right now, Joan and I are trying to figure out the art and the board. More as things develop!

If you'd like to know more about me or my work, or want to contact me, go to

Karina Fabian