Celebrity Blogger Week (or however long it takes) kicks off today! We'll introduce you to our fabulous stable of writers who will help make Lent Madness 2014 happen (please note: by "stable" we're not implying that they're all horses although Laurie Brock actually does own a horse named Nina).
We've asked all of our non-equine CBs to answer a few questions and provide a photo that somehow reflects or sheds new light upon them. While we did this in alphabetical order last year, in 2014 we're getting loopy and mixing things up. In other words, we're posting these in the order we receive them, which also offers subtle motivation to those Celebrity Bloggers who haven't yet submitted their answers to the SEC to get them in ASAP.
As the pre-Lent Madness frenzy ratchets up, we hope you'll enjoy spending some time with the men and women (not horses) who will bring our 32 saints alive for us this year. We think they're all pretty amazing and not just because they work for carrots, er peanuts.
But before you read about our first CB, don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Thanks -- it's good for our self-esteem.
Canon Heidi Shott
Heidi Shott, entering her third year as a Celebrity Blogger, is Canon for Communications and Social Justice in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine. She is a member (and past Vice Chair) of the Standing Commission on Communications and Information Technology and served as Chair of the Episcopal Life Board of Governors. She worked on the Office of Communication’s video news team at two General Conventions, hosting “The Daily Wrap” in Anaheim in 2009. In Indianapolis she hosted an interview blog atwww.indy300.net. Praised widely for her writing about faith in daily life, Heidi writes for a variety of publications and blogs. She keeps the blog Heidoville. With the departure of their twin sons for college, she and her husband Scott are milling aimlessly around their home in mid-coast Maine where they root for the Red Sox even when they lose. Follow her on Twitter @heidomaine.
How has Lent Madness transformed your life?
I never thought of myself as a competitive person until Lent Madness came along. I haven't won anything since my third place ribbon for the triple jump in the Holland Patent Central School 6th grade track meet in 1974. There's something about looking at those vote totals when one of my saints is up that lights a holy fire in my heart. In the first round last year Frances Perkins was neck and neck with Damian of Molokai. As it approached midnight East coast time, I was worried she might lose and that all the people who had never heard of her life and witness would go on with their lives without hearing about her life and witness. That's when I decided to take action and vowed to keep tweeting photos of Graceland to the Lent Madness twitterverse (I happened to have a lot of Graceland photos on my phone) until Perkins took the lead. It paid off. She won the first round and never looked back all the way to the Golden Halo.
Obviously being a Celebrity Blogger is your greatest lifetime achievement. What perks have you enjoyed as a result of your status?
The executive director of the Frances Perkins Center bought me a cup of coffee at the Maine Coast Bookshop and Cafe last year. That was sweet. I'm still waiting for the letter from Social Security Administration to announce that they will double my lifetime benefits because of my relentless support of Perkins, not to mention the free trip to Hawaii for helping Queen Emma get to the Golden Halo Round in 2012.
What do you hope the Lent Madness public will learn from the lives of the saints?
I hope people playing Lent Madness (which is optional, BTW) will come to appreciate that the saints we present are three dimensional human beings. I hope they learn all followers of Jesus are, in some way, just as apt to be weird and messed-up and prone to making bad choices as they are apt to choose a brave, selfless path. And that it's true for each of us.
Someday, when you become the answer on Jeopardy, what will the question be?
"Who is the lay Celebrity Blogger who kicked a bunch of clergy Celebrity Blogger butts early in the second decade of the 21st Century?"