It’s Moving Time

I'm so grateful to all of you for reading my words for the past few years. I have loved writing for you in this space. A lot of things have happened in the past year and pretty much everything in my life has changed. That is not all bad, but it does mean that this space feels awkward for me moving forward. And moving forward is something that I am determined to do. To that end, I'm closing up shop here. I'm not deleting this blog, but I'm not going to be posting here. I'm also not going to quit writing. It is something that energizes me, and I'm going to keep doing it. Perhaps not with the frequency that I was writing here, but still writing. If you'd like to continue to read what I have to say, you can check out my new blog here. I would love to see you there. Again, thank … [Read more...]

In the Church, but not of it

Lady Justice

My favorite presentation while I was at Wild Goose was hosted by Jared Byas with Levi Weaver. They spoke on spiritual creativity, and as someone who fancies herself a bit of a creative, I was interested to hear their thoughts on that issue. Jared’s talk and Levi’s performance were amazing, but one of the things that really struck me about them was that they both said that we had to get beyond cynicism if we wanted to create. They did not suggest that we could not experience seasons as a critic, but cautioned against setting up camp there because it is nearly impossible to create from that space because it can be just as limiting as the things that we’re cynical about. If we constantly put ourselves in the position of critic, the ability to see beauty diminishes and with it, the ability … [Read more...]

Drinking the Ice Wine

Success

Today I'm guest posting for my friend Andi Cumbo. She's on vacation this week and I'm helping her fill out her space by talking about success. Kind of. I have a bottle of ice wine that I bought when I was in Moldova this January that I still haven’t opened. I thought about opening it when I finished my proposal and sent it out to query agents. And I thought about it again when I finally signed with the agent that I’d been courting for a year. But I waited because I haven’t signed a contract with a publisher yet. Or maybe I should wait until the book earns back its advance. Or maybe I should wait until I sign for a second book. Or until I get to do a TED Talk. Some days I wonder if I’m ever going to be able to open it. I'd love it if you'd head over to her place to read the rest. And be … [Read more...]

When You Hate Everyone

hate

So here's something about writing a book about conversations between Christians and atheists that no one told me. It kind of makes me hate everyone. I hate the atheists. I hate dismissive language being used about religious people when I'm sitting right there.  I hate that when I'm trying to find something to dispute a misconception, all I can see is how the misconception is 100% true. I hate that I know all of the arguments before I even hear them. And I hate the Christians. I hate seeing the political process manipulated to make atheists look like bullies. I hate seeing God reduced to "nice, manageable chunks" (as my friend Susan said) through the same apologetics process. I hate seeing people write that they hope that the children of atheists are gang raped and that they die a … [Read more...]

Syndicated at BlogHer

AtheistHero_1

Once again I have the honor of being syndicated over at BlogHer. A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece supporting the atheist bloggers who have been jailed in Bangladesh and Heather at BlogHer has chosen to run it there. I just want to take this opportunity to once again thank you for allowing me to write about things that aren't always what Christian bloggers are supposed to write about. Thanks for sticking around when I write about friendship or interfaith marriage or The Walking Dead. You help make this fun. I'm going to be sending you all over today, but I'd love it if you'd stop by BlogHer and join in the conversation there. If this is your first time here, welcome! Spend some time looking around and be sure to connect with me on Facebook and … [Read more...]

Featured at BlogHer

Diversity

I'm happy to announce that some of my writing is being featured over at BlogHer today. Heather has chosen to include a bit from my piece about why I don't want diverse friends. I really appreciate the conversation that has resulted from that post and I look forward to seeing more at BlogHer. I'd love it if you'd click over to BlogHer and participate in any discussion there. And if you're new to the blog, welcome! I would love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!   Image: OregonDOT via Flickr … [Read more...]

Community Garage Sale

jasonsbooks

Writing can be a lonely gig. All of the letters in my Myers-Briggs profile are pretty wooshy except for that big, monstrous E-is-for-extrovert at the beginning. I love being around people. But I also become profoundly non-productive as a writer when people are around, so alone is how a lot of it works. That said, you cannot do the work of writing alone. Aside from finding material from actually living, I would be absolutely nowhere as a writer without the help of a number of other already established authors who have given me advice and encouragement along the way. One person who has given me both of those things in spade is my friend Jason Boyett. Most of the time, I feel like there's not much I can do to repay that. BUT THAT ALL CHANGES TODAY. Due to a bunch of complicated … [Read more...]

Three Obligations I Have as a Faith Blogger

Bangladesh bloggers

Today atheists, agnostics, skeptics, humanists, and all kinds of other non-religious folks are organizing to protest the imprisonment of three atheist bloggers in Bangladesh. They could face up to 10 years in prison, or potentially the death penalty. For blogging. They are not alone. Alexander Aan is an Indonesian atheist who was arrested for admitting on Facebook that he was an atheist. Asif Mohiuddin was stabbed and then arrested for his lack of faith. Sanal Edamaruku is an Indian atheist who is living in exile to avoid arrest for explaining that a weeping statue was caused by leaky pipes. Now I recognize that these countries are not the United States. I know that we do not send people to jail for writing harshly about religion. I am deeply grateful for the freedoms that I enjoy … [Read more...]

Hanging My Clock

Signature

My husband bought me that clock a year ago. He bought it because I was pitching my first book proposal to an agent and as a stalwart supporter of my writing, he wanted to encourage me. So I sent off this idea to the agent who I most wanted to represent me. That proposal was rejected. So my hilarious clock sat on my dresser. And I took the constructive criticism that the agent so graciously offered me and went back to the drawing board. I rewrote and reworked and came up with something that was way better, thanks largely to help from Ed Cyzewski. It was something that I loved. And I submitted to the agent again. That proposal was rejected, too. And the clock got buried under out of season clothes and children's school papers. I cried on the phone with my friend … [Read more...]

New Series: The Christian Guide to Atheists

The Christian Guide to Atheists

I'm going to start a new series here that I will contribute to on a weekly basis. Something that I have discovered in the past three years is that Christians can have of a skewed view of what it means to be an atheist. Until Jason came out, I had almost no interaction with atheists at all, so my perceptions about what it meant to be an atheist were not always accurate. I don't want you to have those same misunderstandings, so each week, I will be writing a short post for The Christian Guide to Atheists. Because who better to talk to you about atheists and atheism than a Christian, right? Okay, maybe not. But I do welcome thoughts from both my Christian and atheist readers. Christian readers: what questions do you have for atheists? Atheist readers: what are some weird things that … [Read more...]