Who Gets to be a Saint?

Today, Friday, November 1, 2019 is All Saints’ Day also called the Solemnity of All Saints, All Hallows’ Day, Hallowmas, or Feast of Saints. In celebration people light candles, say prayers or liturgies, and sometimes make offerings. It is a day during which Christians around the world honor persons who have lived a life of almost perfect virtue. The Catholic church has canonized around 3,000 people. But who gets to be a saint? Prior to the tenth century, saints became saints due to public acclaim. By the twelfth century, the Church formalized the process for conveying sainthood on a person. Officially, neither the Pope nor the Church makes people saints; Instead, they recognize what God has already done. The five-step process can take a long while. Step 1: Waiting Period In the Catholic tradition, one cannot become a saint until at least five years after death. It could take a lot longer. They declared Saint Bede, the theologian a saint 1,164 years after he died. The Pope can waive the waiting period.  Once the waiting period is over or the waiver granted, the bishop in the diocese where the person died can open an investigation. The bishop gathers evidence on the person’s life and deeds, including witnesses’ testimonies. With sufficient […]

Come with Me Down the Novel Research Hole

Come with me down the novel research hole. Learn about the U.S. Coast Guard(USCG). It is busier than you know. On an average day, the Coast Guard: Conducts 45 search and rescue cases; s Saves 10 lives; Saves over $1.2 M in property; Seizes 874 pounds of cocaine and 214 pounds of marijuana; Conducts 57 waterborne patrols; Interdicts 17 illegal migrants; Escorts 5 high-capacity passenger vessels; Conducts 24 security boardings Screens 360 merchant vessels for potential security threats; Conducts 14 fisheries conservation boardings; Services 82 boys and fixed aids to navigation; Investigates 35 pollution incidents; Completes 26 safety examinations of foreign vessels; Conducts 105 marine inspections; Investigates 14 marine casualties involving commercial vessels; Facilitates movement of $8.7B worth of goods and commodities through the Nation’s Maritime Transportation System. Origins President George Washington signed the Tariff Act on August 4, 1790. The act authorized the construction of ten vessels referred to as “cutters.” The Revenue Cutter Service (RCS) was to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling. The Service grew in size and responsibilities as the United States grew. New Responsibilities In 1915, the RCS merged with the Life-Saving Service and was renamed the Coast Guard.  Eventually, Congress […]

Images from the My Soul to Keep Series

Images from My Soul to Keep, my alternate history dystopian novel, represent various bits of research. Enjoy the images or follow the links to learn more. Concept Art For your viewing pleasure these are concept art pieces my husband, Robert W. Burrows, created to inspire me as I wrote My Soul to Keep. (Yes, he’s a keeper!) In an early draft, I described the Fellowship symbol. He used that description to create the image below. The Azrael wear body armor, communications gear, and an assortment of weapons. The Clothes Images of clothing that appears in the novel. Transportation Images from My Soul to Keep include vehicles used in the story. The Doll Finding this doll on the web inspired me to include it in the story. Read more about that here. Developing the Cover Searching for a cover designer was scary and fun at the same time. Here’s an article about how I chose my cover artist. Book In Hand There is nothing so thrilling as holding your book in your hands. Except selling your book…and getting great reviews…and writing the next one…and…having great readers. Want to see more? Take a look at my Pinterest Inspiration board. I hope you’ve […]