(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
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.
Posted by Todd Outcalt at 9:39 AM