Wednesday, February 15, 2017


(Author photo on the couch:  ready to write, ready to sleep . . . take your pick)

I have enjoyed several speaking engagements, interviews, and book signings of late. But, although I have been a public speaker for over thirty-five years, these things still make me uncomfortable, especially TV and radio interviews.  I hate speaking into a microphone in a vacant studio, for example, and I've never grown comfortable in front of a camera lens.

Where I am most comfortable is here . . . in front of a blank page of paper or a Word.doc screen with a flashing cursor. 

Having said that, it is always an interesting and engaging experience meeting the public.  I do enjoy people and the conversations, and some are, to say the least, fascinating.

At a book signing last week, for example, one lady approached the table at Barnes & Noble and studied the various books/titles that were displayed between us.  She looked at my name on the book covers, looked at me, and then said, "I've never heard of any of these book titles, but I have heard of you." 

"How so?" I asked.

"Well," she answered, "aren't you that guy who never sleeps?"

I laughed and then said, "I can assure you that I do sleep.  But I do write late into the night and often rise early of a morning to write . . . and there are times when I do work all night to meet a deadline.  But that's most writers.  I do sleep."

Of course, she wasn't interested in purchasing one of my books, but she was fascinated by the moniker.  Guy who never sleeps.  Gotta remember that one.  Perhaps I should use that as my handle--GWNS.  It would make an easy business card or a text handle.  


A lot easier to remember than the book titles and my name.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Missing Old Friends & Old Pages

Thoughts today turned to old friends and past publications and I found myself mourning the loss of The Wittenburg Door . . . a magazine that I began writing for back in my Duke Divinity School days, back when Mike Yaconelli was holding court in those pages of parody and speaking truth to power and privilege.  I hitched my star to that wagon for many years.

I still miss Becky Garrison, Joe Bob Briggs, Bob Darden and the rest of the crew . . . and I miss writing my religious parodies most of all.  These kept me honest (or at least a bit more so).  Religious professionals, and especially the vast army of televangelists, are like shooting fish in a barrel.  It's easy to parody what is, in essence, a cast and crew of zany personalities and fundamentalist wackos.  

Some of the pieces I wrote were classics.  The Three Stooges Bible Study.  The Theology of SpongeBob Squarepants.  Christian Singles Ads.  The Prayer of Jezebel.  I could go on . . . 

I still pray that someone, some how, will revive this much-needed magazine of Religious parody and bring it back to health.  God knows we need it.  I certainly do.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017


(Photo:  the young author and his dog, Tippy, 1964, Robinson, Illinois)

I am currently at work on my memoir, Tippy's Nine Lives:  A Family Memoir in Dog Years.  It's been fun going so far.  But a memoir, unlike fiction or a book of non-fiction, is tricky business . . . a no-man's-land of real life stories that may yet impact the living.  As I write, I continue to ponder how my family and friends will respond to my memories of situations and events.

As I told my brother not long ago . . . I can't make this stuff up.  Our lives were too zany to create out of whole cloth.  

But memoirs are tightropes . . . a dangerous journey across mind and memory, trying to stay the narrow course of events, stepping lightly upon secrets and private conversations while maintaining enough humor and dignity to make the realities readable for others.  

I've been wanting to write the memoir for years, and I'm so fortunate to be able to do so.

But I'm not sure about the outcomes.  Once the book is published, I may discover that I am an orphan . . . abandoned by family and friends.  I can only hope I tell the story truthfully.  

So please stay tuned.  Tippy's on the way. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

In Between

It's been many moons since I wrote a blog post, but here at the apex of 2017 I decided to re-up my commitment to writing "Between Pages".  And although I've not written a blog for six months, that's not to say that I have been lax in my commitments to the written word.  I've written plenty of pages, and a few forthcoming.

Last week my latest book hit the shelves--my first children's work--a reader entitled All About Martin Luther King, Jr.   I am always excited about new titles--but this one, in particular, is dedicated to the Ten Point Coalition of Indianapolis.  In case you are not familiar with this work, it is a movement dedicated to keeping peace in the streets and working for the improvement of young people, offering hope and purpose to those whose lives, otherwise, might be defined by poverty, crime and violence.

It is only fitting that this book have a place in helping the Ten Point Coalition's work.  In the coming weeks I'll be speaking in schools and libraries, talking on a few television and radio shows, and scheduling in a few book signings . . . all to help raise awareness and pledge support.  You can help, too.

First, let's all celebrate the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday--a day not only to remember Dr. King and his words, but perhaps more importantly to remain firm in our commitment to equality, social justice, and civil rights. This is an American holiday reminding us that the work of social equality and justice is ongoing. 

Secondly, we can pray for the work of Ten Point and other ministries that are addressing poverty and lifting up the needs of our young people.

Thirdly, we can be involved in peace-making and peace-building.  

I especially enjoyed writing this book on Dr. King because I knew he was, first and foremost, a pastor--a preacher of the gospel, and one who believed in the power of Christ's words to transform, both personally and socially.  His legacy, and the struggles of Civil Rights, must always be told to a new generation of children.  If we don't tell the story, we are doomed to repeat the past.

So, thanks for reading.  And thanks for helping to spread the word about the Dr. King reader and the work of Ten Point Coalition.  I hope my little biography of Dr. King might touch a few young lives and make the work of social justice evident, all the while holding out the hope of a better future for all Americans.  Let justice roll down like waters . . . and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream!  Amen.