Archives for September 2008

Humbled by Beginning Writers

This morning I am feeling humble. Outside of a religious context this is a rare emotion for me, insofar as I generally enjoy feeling arrogant and egocentric. I am also right now feeling like a meth-munching meerkat, since I just downed two cups of coffee from a mug so large you could use it to [Read More…]

Anyone But Me Getting Nervous?

On September 15 Lehman Brothers goes bankrupt. For the next 10 days people rushing to secure their money withdraw $16.8 billion from Washington Mutual, precipitating by far the largest bank failure in American history. Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Washington Mutual, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG. American mainstays of the [Read More…]

John Notes for “Introduction to Western Philosophy”

Here are your John Notes for some of the major honchos in Western philosophy: Socrates: Liked to call himself a “gadfly.” No one argued it. Turned unceasingly asking annoying questions into the basis for Western civilization. Plato: Believed knowledge was more about remembering than learning. Yet founded the first college in the Western World. Been [Read More…]

John Notes for Western Lit 101

The Odyssey: A hairy guy who yells a lot floats around in a boat. Oedipus the King: A guy marries a girl a little too much like the girl who married dear old dad. (When this play opened at the Viennese National Theatre in 1901, Freud, in attendance, died of an asthma attack.) The Apology [Read More…]

Letter From an Atheist Married to a Christian

I get lots of questions asking about atheists marrying Christians. I have an atheist friend who is married to a Christian, so I asked him to address this issue. Here’s what he wrote: I’m a bona fide marriage expert. Not because I have some fancy Ivy League degree hanging on my wall, nor because I’m [Read More…]

Writers: Don’t Self-Publish; My Blogging Advice Bites

In response to my recent post, Overcoming The Harsh Realities of Book Publishing, a reader (hello, “Jim from far away Berlin”!) wrote to ask, “Do you think it is worthwhile to self-publish or write e-books for a new writer who doesn’t have a platform and wants to build a base? And do you have any tips about [Read More…]

Hasta la Vista, Vista! I’m Back to Mac, Jack!

I love laptop computers. Because I love my lap. But that’s really a whole other dysfunction. Speaking of dysfunctions, in Feb. 2007 I bought a Dell laptop, the Inspiron We Hate You. Its operating system is Vista Home Basic. If you’ve ever used Vista Home Basic, you’re not reading this. Because you’re dead. Because you [Read More…]

Overcoming The Harsh Realities of Book Publishing

On Saturday, September 26, I’ll be conducting a workshop at the annual San Diego Christian Writers Guild  conference entitled “Overcoming The Harsh Realities of Publishing.” Since most of the conference attendees will be curious about getting published in the Christian book market, I’m sure its the “harsh realities” of that realm of publishing I’ll be expected to [Read More…]

Where Does God Being Love Leave Us? (And Get Back Here, Atheists!)

“God is Love.” Great! It’s the richest philosophical/religious proposition possible. What it means to us Christians, though, is that (what with our being made in God’s image, and all) we, too, are supposed to be All Love All the Time. Not so great. Instant fail. Because who can be about love all the time? Life is hard—and [Read More…]

I Saw

My vision hooked shut A blaring symphony of cells Look: separated, I have again summoned up this scintillating, antiquated carving knife its tip clicked off the stains of sins past now rusting its dull feathered edge its handle cracked like nerves thirsting It is this I use. It is always this I use to penetrate my [Read More…]