Thursday, October 20, 2016

Prologue


Hello, world.

My name is Matt Marks, and this is my blog. If I had to sum myself up, I suppose I would have to consider the ways I spend my time outside of work. I watch Star Wars, read Tolkien, and play hobby board games like Carcassonne, Legendary, and Pathfinder. I try to live out the Gospel by going to Mass, helping out with the RCIA program at my parish, and learning more about my faith. And, of course, I do my best to be a good husband to my wife, and a good father to my son, Timothy. So I guess I would say I am a Geeky Catholic Dad (thus the title of this blog).


My son and I dressed up for Halloween




There are two reasons I am writing this blog - a long-term reason and an immediate one. For a long time, I have felt a desire to put my ideas out there. I had started listening to podcasts, and I thought it would be cool to produce a podcast of my own. But I don’t really know much about audio production. And I can’t always organize my ideas well when I’m speaking. Some of my favorite podcasters were very good about reading the emails they received and discussing them on their shows, so I started writing in to those shows. At the time, it didn’t really occur to me that writing was my preferred style of communication, or that I would enjoy having a blog.

Then, over the course of the past year, tragedy struck my family. My wife and I lost two children, Lucy and Elliot, to miscarriage. Lucy died at about 11 weeks in September of last year, and Elliot died at almost 17 weeks in February. In the wake of these horrible events, I did what I could to support my wife as she grieved our children. I had heard that in situations like ours, often the father’s grief would come in later, after the mother had recovered somewhat. I had been able to go back to work, and move on with life, but I hadn’t really processed my grief. I tried reading some books about loss, but there didn’t seem to be anything aimed at fathers who had been through miscarriage.

This past summer, my wife and I attended a retreat for couples who had experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. At one point, we split up into two groups - fathers and mothers. I sat among a group of six or seven men, and we were each given the opportunity to share our stories. When it was my turn, I ended up talking for 40 minutes (over half the allotted time for the whole session), and I still felt like there was a ton I had left out. That’s when I realized that I needed to write a book. I needed to share my story, the thoughts and emotions that I had struggled with, the questions that I had asked and the answers that I had found.

So I started writing. And even though the book isn’t anywhere close to being finished, I started looking into how I would get the book out into the world. One author I asked for advice told me that in order for a publisher to even consider my book, I would have to have some kind of presence online. How could I expect to sell a book if no one knows who I am?

I ignored the advice at first. I didn’t really have anything to write besides the story I was telling in my book. But over time, I realized that I’ve been writing about things I love for years. I’ve written countless blog-post-sized emails to podcasts. The hosts seem to think my ideas are worth sharing and discussing. Either that, or they’re all just very polite.

So here I am, writing a blog. Some of my posts will be about the geeky things I’m into. Some will be about my faith, and some will be about being a dad. Often, these categories will blend together like a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey...stuff. Because, after all, I’m a geeky Catholic dad.

Throughout this process, I welcome interaction and conversation. So feel free to leave comments, or send me an email at geekycatholicdad@gmail.com.

4 comments:

  1. Will be following you on the blogging journey Matt! I know your writing will be great! :-)

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  2. Hey Matt! Good to see you in the blogosphere. I'll be following our journey with great interest. Catch up soon.

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  3. Had to make a correction. I originally wrote in here that we lost Lucy at 9 weeks; it was actually 11 weeks. The doctor told us that she had stopped growing at 9 weeks, so I got the two numbers confused.

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