Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Thursday, October 12, 2017

"Priests Sign Up for Exorcism 101"/ William Peter Blatty

This should get you into the Halloween spirit:

Nov. 23, 2015 "Priests Sign Up for Exorcism 101": I cut out this article "Priests being sanctioned course in exorcism" by LA times on Feb. 18, 2005.  Now that is a really old article.  It wasn't until 2010 that I started cutting out more news articles.  Prior to it, I cut out here and there.

It was about a supernatural subject of exorcism so that's why I cut it out.  Here it is:

ROME — The Roman Catholic Church is facing a shortage you may not have heard about: qualified exorcists.

And so, on Thursday about 100 priests stood, prayed for protection, then sat down to begin an eight-week study of how to distinguish and fight demonic possession.

The course at Rome's prestigious Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum, represents the first time a Vatican- sanctioned course in exorcism is being offered at this level.

In Italy, the number of official exorcists has soared during the last 20 years to between 300 and 400, church officials say. But they aren't enough to handle the avalanche of requests for help from hundreds of tormented people who believe they are possessed. In the United States, the shortage is even more acute.

Only a small percentage of those in distress are judged to be in need of an exorcism, and learning how to tell the difference between demonic possession and other psychological or physical traumas is the main goal of the priestly students taking the course at the Regina Apostolorum.

"When you're dealing with a reality like the devil," said 39-year-old Father Clement Machado of Canada, "you can't just learn the theoretical. You need the pragmatic experience.... It's such uncharted territory."

Italy's most famous exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth, is not participating in the program but was full of praise for it.

"It's very positive," Amorth, 80, said in an interview this week. "I hope it will increase the number of exorcists." Without a doubt, he said, it will increase interest in the ancient and oft- maligned ritual.

Exorcism -- the use of prayer to rid a person or place of the devil or demonic spirits -- has its roots in early Christianity. It fell out of favor in the 18th century, after the Enlightenment and advances in science and philosophy. But in the last few decades it has experienced something of a revival, in part because of Pope John Paul II's belief that Satan is a real presence in daily life who must be battled.

Many exorcists, sensitive to the sensationalist portrayal of their practice,
especially in movies and pulp novels, hope to avoid publicity. That made the opportunity offered by the inaugural session, which was opened to the media, all the more unusual.

"The biggest obstacle has been the lack of training of priests and bishops, who haven't felt sufficiently equipped to confront" what the church believes is a rising obsession with satanic cults, witchcraft and the occult, said Giuseppe Ferrari, an academic specializing in socio- religious phenomena who lectured by videophone from Bologna.

"Satanism is very much in fashion now," said Father Paulo Scarafoni, rector of the Regina Apostolorum, which is run by the conservative Legionaries of Christ.

Father Gabriele Nanni, an exorcist from Modena, told the students that doctors could be consulted to determine whether physical or psychological causes were behind a patient's distress. The symptoms of demonic possession, he said, include utter revulsion to holy symbols, such as a crucifix or baptismal oils.

Sometimes, he said, the patient enters a deep trance.
The cleansing ritual, he told students, must be kept simple, with much prayer and without pride in one's accomplishments.

"An exorcism is tantamount to a miracle -- an extraordinary intervention of God," Nanni said. "It's not that we poor men are so powerful to be able to banish the devil. It's that God gives us the power."

Nanni, 45, in many ways represents the new generation of exorcists.

Father Francesco Bamonte, also of the younger generation, has served as an exorcist based in Rome since 2000. He avoids being inundated with requests only by virtue of a team that screens potential patients, he said.

The course will not necessarily produce new exorcists, organizers said, but at the least it will teach priests how to discern symptoms and give them the expertise and confidence to send only the most egregious cases to an exorcist.

Nowhere is the shortage of exorcists considered more serious than in the U.S., where skepticism about the practice abounds. There are fewer than a dozen official exorcists at U.S. dioceses, and it is a topic most American priests seem to avoid.

Father Christopher Barak traveled from his headquarters in Lincoln, Neb., to Rome to attend the course. Priests in Nebraska have recently heard troubling accounts from parishioners, including unexplained noises in homes and sightings of ghostlike figures, he said.

"There is a growing awareness in our dioceses" of the need for exorcists, Barak said.

"There are a lot more behaviors and lifestyles that are not of God," he said. "There's a lot of relativism. Whatever goes, goes. There's a big surge in New Age, pantheism, young people playing with Satanism, a lot of drug use, black magic, psychics are so big, pornography, MTV.... People are not searching for holiness."

Barak is planning to stay for the entire course, which ends in mid-April, and said he hoped to take a new understanding and a new battle plan back to Nebraska.

Jan. 17, 2017 "The Exorcist killed his comedy career": Today I found this article by Paul Vitello in the Globe and Mail:

His bestselling novel, which he adapted into an Oscar-winning film, was a departure from his earlier light-hearted work

William Peter Blatty, the author whose bestselling book The Exorcist was both a milestone in horror fiction and a turning point in his own career, died Thursday in Bethesda, Md. He was 89.

The cause was multiple myeloma, said his wife, Julie Blatty.

The Exorcist, the story of a 12year-old girl possessed by the devil, was published in 1971 and sold more than 13 million copies. The 1973 movie version, starring Linda Blair and directed by William Friedkin, was a runaway hit, breaking box-office records at many theaters and becoming the Warner Bros. studio’s highestgrossing film to date. It earned Mr. Blatty, who wrote the screenplay, an Academy Award. (It was also the first horror movie nominated for the best-picture Oscar.)

The Exorcist marked a radical shift in Mr. Blatty’s career, which was already well established in another genre: He was one of Hollywood’s leading comedy writers.

Mr. Blatty collaborated with director Blake Edwards on the screenplays for four films, beginning in 1964 with A Shot in the Dark, the second movie (after The Pink Panther) starring Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau and, in some critics’ view, the best. His other Edwards films were the comedy What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?
(1966); the musical comedy-drama Darling Lili (1970); and Gunn (1967), based on the television detective series Peter Gunn. He also wrote the scripts for comedies starring Danny Kaye, Warren Beatty and Zero Mostel.

In praising his 1963 novel, John Goldfarb, Please Come Home!,a Cold War spoof that Mr. Blatty later adapted for the screen, Martin Levin of The New York Times invoked humorist S.J. Perelman, one of Mr. Blatty’s literary idols; Mr. Blatty, he said, “writes like Perelman run amuck.”

The phenomenal success of The Exorcist essentially signalled the end of Mr. Blatty’s comedy career, making him for all practical purposes the foremost writer in a new hybrid genre: theological horror. It was a mantle he was never entirely comfortable wearing.

When he declined his publisher’s entreaties for a sequel to The Exorcist and instead delivered an elegiac memoir about his mother, I’ll Tell Them I Remember You, published in 1973, Mr. Blatty felt the first cinch of the horror-writing straitjacket.

“My publisher took it because I wanted to do it,” he was quoted in Faces of Fear (1985), a collection of interviews with horror writers by Douglas E. Winter. “But the bookstores were really hostile.”

“The sad truth is that nobody wants me to write comedy,” he said in another interview. “The Exorcist not only ended that career; it expunged all memory of its existence.”

Mr. Blatty gave various accounts of what led him to try his hand at horror. He sometimes said the market for his comedy had waned in the late sixties. He was ready to move on. At other times, he said his mother’s sudden death in 1967 had led to a renewed commitment to his Roman Catholic faith, and to a soul searching about life’s ultimate questions, including the presence of evil in the world.

He said the idea for The Exorcist was planted in 1949, when he was a student at the Jesuit-affiliated Georgetown University in Washington and read an account in The Washington Post of an exorcism in suburban Washington under the headline, Priest Frees Mt. Rainier Boy Reported Held in Devil’s Grip.

The incident, widely discussed at the time among Georgetown students and faculty members, came back to Mr. Blatty 20 years later as the basis for a book about something not getting much press in the fractured, murky landscape of late-sixties America: the battle between Good and Evil.

He began writing what he thought would be a modest-selling thriller about a girl, a demon and a pair of Catholic priests.

About halfway through, he later said, he sensed he had something more. “I knew it was going to be a success,” he told People magazine. “I couldn’t wait to finish it and become famous.”

William Peter Blatty was born on Jan. 7, 1928, in Manhattan to Peter and Mary Blatty, immigrants from Lebanon. His father left home when William was 6, and his mother supported the two of them by selling quince jelly on the streets, yielding a wobbly income that precipitated 28 changes of address during a childhood he once described as “comfortably destitute.”

The church figured prominently in his life. His mother was a churchgoing Catholic, and he was educated at prominent Jesuit-run schools that admitted him on full scholarships: the Brooklyn Preparatory School, now closed, where he was the 1946 class valedictorian, and Georgetown, from which he graduated in 1950.

After serving in the U.S. Air Force, Mr. Blatty worked for the U.S. Information Agency in Beirut. He returned to the United States for a public-relations job in Los Angeles, where he hoped to begin his career as a writer.

He had published his first book – a memoir, Which Way to Mecca, Jack? – but was still working in public relations in 1961 when he appeared as a contestant on You Bet Your Life, the television quiz show hosted by Groucho Marx. He and a fellow contestant won $10,000 (U.S.).

His winnings freed him to quit his day job and become a fulltime writer. He never had a regular job again.

Mr. Blatty lived in Bethesda, Md. In addition to his wife, the former Julie Witbrodt, whom he married in 1983, he leaves behind their son, Paul William Blatty; three daughters, Christine Charles, Mary Joanne Blatty and Jennifer Blatty, and two sons, Michael and William Peter Jr., from earlier marriages; seven grandchildren; and six greatgrandchildren. Another son, Peter Vincent Blatty, died in 2006; his death was the subject of Mr. Blatty’s 2015 book, Finding Peter.

My week:

Oct. 2, 2017 EQWIP Hubs: I'm looking for a job on LinkedIn and found this: 

EQWIP HUBs put youth in control of their own future.

EQWIP HUBs are dynamic innovation spaces spanning 18 urban centers across Bolivia, Ghana, Indonesia, Peru, Senegal, and Tanzania. Buzzing with collaborative energy, at each EQWIP HUBs we provide a unique platform for young minds – especially women – to build market-relevant skills, gain access to the mentorship, networks, technology and capital to prepare them for meaningful employment, or to launch a new wave of enterprise.

Qualified and passionate young Canadians will work in specialized teams to support each HUB, fuelling cross-cultural innovation, gender-responsive programming and peer-to-peer mentorship.

We believe that EQWIP HUBs is the next big innovation in global youth development, and our goal is to change the lives of 100,000 youth by 2020.

My opinion: This sounds like a good company and charity.

Financial Strategies Group: This was on Jasper Ave and it has moved.  There are 2 addresses.


1. Have you ever looked for a job here?
2. Have you ever applied for a job here?
3. Have you ever gotten an interview here?
4. Have you ever got hired for a job here?

My opinion: I have looked for and applied for a job here a few times.  I am mainly here for networking and know where my coworkers, old classmates and some friends are.

When I first got on here, it was to make contacts for TV production.

There are a lot of staffing agencies.

Research companies: I'm going through my old job emails and there are companies I have never heard of before so I have look them up.

His Helping Hands: I found this during my job search.  It's a church, but it was really positive.

Oct. 4, 2017: I was looking for a job and I found this:

DoorDash: This is like where you can order food and get it delivered to your home.  I read about this company last week in the newspaper.  Then I checked the website:

"DoorDash Edmonton goes live tomorrow!"


"Stop Wasting Time! This is a powerful Motivational Speech Video on why you need to stop procrastinating and start using your time wisely. I created it for students to motivate them to study for their exams and do their homework!"

Skillshare: I was reading S's Real Simple magazine.  The article was about a side hustle and it mentioned this site:

Real World Experience Gives Your Team an Edge

Our teachers are designers, marketers, entrepreneurs, programmers, artists. What they have in common though is that they're doers, whose expertise comes from real-life experience, not a textbook.

"I couldn't do my job as well without Skillshare. That's the truth. I like the results of my work better, now that I've been taking classes."

Bryan M, Director of Design at Rice Bowls | Skillshare Student

Constructive Solutions: This is a temp agency for construction workers.

"Female inmates on the lam nabbed in escape room": Today I found this article by Catherine Griwkosky in the Edmonton Journal:

Escape rooms are interactive adventure games, not hideouts for fugitives on the lam.
That’s what two female inmates discovered when they were arrested at Sidequests Adventures Inc. at 10190 104 St. on Tuesday evening.

Jonathan Liaw, co-owner of SideQuests Adventures Inc., said two women came in and asked what an escape room was about and wanted to see one of the rooms, not an unusual request.

“It’s funny and ironic that escaped convicts run into an escape room and get caught,” Liaw said Wednesday.

Oct. 6, 2017 How KFC is feeding kids: It's rare that I eat out, but yesterday I bought some KFC and there was this ad.  If you make a donation at KFC, they will feed kids in 3rd world countries:

Food safety course: I went to this yesterday for work.  I thought I didn't have to go to it because I work at the front of the house, and not the back of the house where the cooks are.  

However, servers and cooks were there.  I was there all day in a classroom and had to do a test at the end of it.  It was called "SafeCheck: Advanced Food Safety Certification."

After it, I was really mentally tired.  I went home and watched 2 TV shows.

Work: Today I went to work.  It was kind of busy.  I worked from 8am -2:30pm.  I slept on the bus home.  I then did my job search.  I was not mentally tired.

The highlight of the week:

I've had a few days off and I was listening to these telesummits as I was looking for a job on the internet:

The Inner Game of Making Money: This is about making money, business, entrepreneurs, having a positive attitude and mindset to succeed in life.

Women who rise event: This is the same too, but more with health and wellness.

Oct. 8, 2017 Trick or On Oct. 6, 2017, I found this article "Are tricks for big kids too?" by Susan Spicer.  It mentions this charity: 

The hundreds of passionate and dedicated volunteers that participate every year are the foundation of Trick or Eat. Participants collect food and funds from their community and are the reason that Trick or Eat is able to make such a difference in communities across Canada year after year

Meal Exchange is national registered charity founded in 1993, we work with over a third of the universities in Canada, and our programs have been run in over 100 communities across the country. For over 20 years, Meal Exchange has been supporting students to develop innovative solutions to address hunger, food insecurity and sustainability on their campuses and with communities.

 At Meal Exchange, we believe that post-secondary campuses are an ideal leverage point for tackling food security and sustainability in Canada, and that student leaders have the power to drive this change. We provide these students with mentorship and resources, and connect them with their peers and stakeholders across the country.


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