Adventhology

Ryan Charles Trusell, of Ora et Labora et Zombies fame, has brought together Catholic authors Brandon Vogt, Simcha Fisher, Dan Lord, and Dappled Things Web Editor Dorian Speed, to produce Adventhology, a series of affecting short pieces that make ideal reading for that oft-forgotten season of expectation. Trusell, it turns out, is not only passionate about Benedictines and zombies, but is at least equally dedicated to the craft of printing. He describes the project as a “micropublishing adventure” in which “[e]ach piece is published separately, as its own small booklet, of fine paper with a hand-printed softcover.”

On her blog, Dorian describes her own piece, The Bells of Bethlehem, as one that follows “the tried-and-true formula of Christmas writing: salt dough ornaments, Columbia Records Stereo LPs, phone calls to the afterlife, obscure liturgical terminology, circling back around to gingerbread because we talked about death in the middle and need to end on a happy note. Your standard Advent-type essay.” She then gives as snippet of what we can expect:

Nostalgia tempts us to say “I’d really rather stay here, thanks” when it’s time to come back to the present. There are pieces of my heart left back in the past, and now that I am a mother myself there are more pieces walking around, growing out of their jackets and slamming the door behind them as they rush outside. One of the things I most enjoy about marriage is having someone else who treasures the trivial milestones of our children’s lives and wants to look back through all of our pictures.

So many pictures. What greater misery confronts the modern parent than that terrifying realization: I forgot the camera. How am I to give my children a home of love and warm memories if I do not document all of our days? Every so often I will happen upon a canister of undeveloped film from the first couple of years of my oldest child’s life, before we went digital and started taking ten times as many pictures. Having these photos developed is an unexpected gift of moments I’d completely forgotten about.

Trusell’s work through Labora Editions truly seems like a labor of love, not to mention one in which love brings forth the dedication needed to produce a high quality work. We’re thrilled to see this sort of initiative taking place in the Catholic publishing world. Along with Korrektiv Press, Tuscany Press, and other such projects, one is almost tempted to say that a trend is afoot.