Kids, Kidneys and Other Distractions

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It’s normal for me to be less productive in the final weeks of August, as we try to squeeze all the stuff we planned to do over the summer into the final few days. But I was more sidetracked than usual this August. Besides a calendar dominated by school supply shopping, orthodontist and haircut appointments, and [Read More...]

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Memoir

Let’s make one thing clear up front: I am drawing here on my experience as an avid memoir reader, not as a memoir writer. I have one book to my name, and while it is partly a memoir and was well-reviewed, having written one memoir does not make me an expert in writing memoir. But I think [Read More...]

Why Talking Evangelical is Good for Your Blog Stats

A few months ago, I tweeted this: “Reason #437 I love being an Episcopalian: No one knows who Mark Driscoll is, much less why he’s apologizing.” Driscoll is a popular Seattle-based evangelical pastor, known in part for his complementarian opinions on sex and marriage (i.e., the view that God calls men and women to complementary [Read More...]

In Defense of Social Media

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To dismiss the online world as a repository for irrelevant banter by narcissistic blowhards who are ignoring their families is both inaccurate and unfair to those for whom social media enables valuable, life-giving work. [Read more...]

When a Viral Blog Post Doesn’t Change Much of Anything

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Being a writer is primarily about writing—not about following some social media guru’s five-step system for getting the most attention for each blog post, or about keywords and SEO. [Read more...]

Troll-Proofing Our Online Writing

If only Internet trolls were as appealing and harmless as this guy.

At the Festival of Faith and Writing two weeks ago in Grand Rapids, Michigan, my friend Jennifer Grant and I co-led a discussion group titled “Troll-Proofing Your Online Writing.” Based on our conversations and my own reading and musing, here are a few thoughts about what we can and can’t do about trolls, and why [Read More...]

How the Internet is Killing the Book Review

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Now that I own a Kindle, my ever-raging thirst for new reading material can be assuaged with a few finger swipes. Because I have wide-ranging taste and am relatively choosy about which books earn the swipe, I rarely regret a purchase. But last week I regretted not only buying a particular book, but also the [Read More...]

God Does Not Make Me Happy (or Three Things I Learned About My Relationship with God)

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Last weekend, I went on a one-night retreat with my church’s vestry. (In an Episcopal church, the vestry is akin to a board of directors. We advise and collaborate with the clergy on big-picture questions around the church’s mission, and approve the annual budget. I am in my third year of a three-year vestry term.) [Read More...]


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