Post-posters and proposal post

Hi, guys. Sorry I didn’t put up a new post this morning.

Pffft. Like that’s causing you Big Distress.

But that’s enough about you. For the last week or so I’ve been ridiculously busy writing a book proposal for this megamonstrously huge book I’m now doing via my literary agent and major book publishers and all that: this book (which I’m co-authoring) fits in with that world much more than it does my usual Rebel Without a Bank Account world of do-it-yourself publishing. I’ll of course tell you more about the project when I can. For now though it’s all quite dramatically hush-hush.

What during breaks in writing I’ve lately taken to doing is making for myself those little poster-things everybody shares on Facebook. The gang over at Unfundamentalist Christians have for a while now been making those to great effect, and I chime in over there sometimes with my own ideas for them. But I’ve never actually made the things myself, cuz I’m no graphic artist.

But what the heck. It’s nice sometimes to work visually rather than writerally. So I figured out the bare rudiments of Facebook Poster Making, and in the last day or two made the ones below, each of which I will now introduce with some riveting, behind-the-scenes commentary.

The one right below, which I put up yesterday, has done well on FB; it’s been shared over 2,000 times. I think a narrower font would have worked better, and I wish I’d known then how to put my name in black-and-white. But this was something I had reason to want to say, and felt this a strong way to say it. So I did.

The one below I put up this this afternoon. An earlier version had additional text on it: its final paragraph read, “If you do that, shame on you. You are grieving the God you say you love.” But a friend wrote to say she thought that final graph too harsh, and I agreed with her. So I deleted the original poster, and put up this one instead. Gwen Ashby of Believe Out Loud was right: this one’s better. It’s been shared some 700 times in the past few hours.

I liked this next one. But I was amazed at how many people commented on it by way of correcting my King James-style English. Thirty people must have let me know the proper word is spake, not spoketh. But I was trying to be funny with spoketh: it was a joke, with the yukkles and the laughing. Who would actually use “spoketh”? It’s depressing people thought I would. Then again, it was pretty impressive how many people are up on their proper KJ-grammar. So. Cool. Also slightly scary. But cool.

This morning I built and put up the one below. I was pretty proud of it, until graphics guru (and shockingly good writer) Dan Wilkinson (who built my blogsite here) wrote me to say, “What’s the string coming out of the guy’s crotch?” So then I couldn’t see anything but that crotch-to-mouth string, until finally sanity begged me to delete the thing altogether. Curse you Dan Wilkinson!! for … having eyes!

Below is one of the first ones I did, last week sometime. But it’s just too . . . well, pretentious, basically, to quote yourself. (Although it’s also not fun when someone else puts their name on a big ol’ quote of yourn.) Which is why on the posters above I just put my name, dinky-style, on the bottom. But I like the way this one looks (and am hardly ashamed of the words or anything).

Below is the first one I did—and it shows (check out that utterly un-Dan Wilkinson-like misalignment of “EXPERIENCE”). But I like this saying. I made it up—though it seems like such an obvious thought that I’m sure it’s not original to me—which is why I didn’t put my name on it. But to me it was original, and I thought it’d be fun to do this with it.

So. That’s what I’ve been doing during writing breaks.

I’ve finished the proposal, sent it to my agent, and we’ll see what happens next. Now I have to clean my office, because when we get the green light on this book I think it would be helpful if I could start right off by actually being able to find my desk.

Love to you guys! Hope all is well with you.

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  • Carol VanderNat

    Good luck with the hush-hush book, and thanks for the great posters! I’ve shared them all, and my friends have, as well…..

    Here’s to taking a lot of breaks!

    (And now all I can see is that string thingy too…..) what IS that?!

  • My favorites are the Life is a near-death experience and the “if you tell a gay person…” (what can i say, i understand that death happens to all of us and I don’t think it’s the “END” and that LOVE is the sum total of everything… but especially God)

  • Right? Whatever it is, it rapidly became intolerable. Dan was, like, “Uh, yeah. And it’s going into his mouth.

  • I love you too 😉

  • Dave Bowling

    Thanks for the update about your happenings and sharing these great posters. Best wishes on the big hush-hush book … with your involvement I know it will do well. (and I agree, what is that string …)

  • Amy

    Is it the cord from his iPod to his ear buds? I didn’t notice it until it was pointed out. LOL!

  • Amy

    I love the graphics. The Jesus one is my favorite, and I don’t care what the right word is. Well, the grammar nerd in me does, but the rest of me just thinks it’s awesome.

  • Matt

    After a long, tiring day, these really cheer me up. Thanks, John :).

  • vj

    The first one (in the blog post, not chronologically) gave (and still gives) me goosebumps.

    Hope the new book comes through and gives you nice boost in the bank balance!

  • Allie

    I like the one about defending underdogs. Exactly. Needs to be said, as often as possible.

    The last one about the near-death experience is good enough to warrant redoing in something other than eye-killing red on blue.

  • Lymis

    Good Lord, people, that’s what Photoshop is FOR.

    Just use the Magic String Eraser Thingie tool.

  • Richard

    A propos of your “Die alone” poster (spot on, by the way) …

    I wonder if you could say a few words about surviving the celibate life as a Christian in today’s society. There are a variety of reasons people are trying to do that (divorce, never married, widowhood, just to name a few). In my case, I married a woman who decided she wasn’t bi after all but lesbian, so here I am with a handful of extravagant promises made in good faith before God and a bunch of witnesses… I’m mostly better now, but still, “Live alone. Die alone” resonates.

  • Jill H

    The voice of reason has returned!

  • Gary L. Arps, PhD CLPF

    Thanks for speaking at St. Paul’s this morning, ant the brief chat with Kat (?) and you afterward. I come home and am writing on your blog for the first time, so I don’t know what conversations have gone on before. But, I did want to say that my own “progressive Christianity” was importantly informed by Bruce Bawer and his books “Stealing Jesus” and “A Place At the Table.” I have promoted the reading of these in my church and with others. (My wife is of a confessional faith and not at all interested in the conversation.)



  • Jill H

    Hi Gary, a dear friend recommended me to read Stealing Jesus as well, so now I am convinced that twice is not coincidence. Thank you for that.

  • Jill H

    Wow. Excellent comment, Richard. In my own way, I get it.

  • Elizabeth

    I heart the Magic String Eraser Thingie tool.